Pathways to Wellness

conversation • connection • commitment

What’s a tootle?

A tootle (as opposed to a tattle) is a term coined by psychologist Dennis Embry of the Paxis Institute.  A tootle is a note that you can write to your child, thanking them for something they have done that has been helpful.  A tootle can also be used to recognize and praise the effort your child has made to learn something new or achieve a goal.  Seeing it in writing will have a bigger impact than saying it aloud. 

By putting the good that you see into words, you will help your child see the good in their life, and the good that they can do.   Tootles build confidence, and support positive behaviour.  

To be most effective, make sure that your note is very specific. 

Good:  "I want to let you know how much I appreciate the time and effort  you put into your homework"

Better:  "I want to let you know how much I appreciate the time and effort you put into you science project.  You did a lot of research and you put it together in an interesting way."

Set a goal for yourself of writing 2-3 tootles each week.  Have fun with them.  Put them in your child's lunch bag, or backpack.  Stick one on their bedroom door, or post it on your refrigerator.  This is an easy, and no cost way of noticing and celebrating the good in your child's life.

Become a tootle family.  Moms, dads, brothers and sisters can all get in on writing tootles.   When parents send tootles to each other, they demonstrate the importance of being appreciative.  Tootles can encourage children to be more mindful of the good in their family, and learn to express their gratitude.    Expressing gratitude builds strong families.

We are grateful to Dr. Embry for allowing us to post is tootle notes.  Feel free to use the attached pdf to write your first two tootles 

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