You know how your eyes begin to sparkle and your ears intently listen when you overhear someone saying something nice about you? Well I've started to tell "baby sister" things about Brayden when I know he can hear me. I'll say things to Hailey like, "Did you know that your big brother loves to share and think of others? Yesterday I was so happy to see him giving his snacks to his friends on the playground.... Brayden can teach you how to put your bowl in the sink when you are all done (trying to reinforce good behavior because he thinks chucking his food across the room is a fun game).... Brayden loves to read books and learn new things.... He wants to teach you everything because you two are best friends."
I can see him out of the corner of my eye and Brayden is completely beaming and grinning and I can hear him agree "yeah. oh yeah." I sometimes use this technique to get him to do something I want like, "Hailey, did you know that Brayden is really good at putting the blocks away?! I bet he can show you sometime." And sure enough, he comes running over.
Man are those kids listening to EVERYTHING we say, especially when it is about them. I also like to tell "Daddy" all about Brayden when I know he can overhear. I think these sincere statements are affirming to their sense of belonging and identity.