Ladies and Gentleman…Mainly, mothers and fathers:
When was the last time you genuinely looked your baby (young or old) in the eyes and with all sincerity expressed your delight over their accomplishment, whether large or small?
Honestly, when was the last time you told them you were proud of them?
Not everything we do will please our parents. And it would be utterly silly to try. But there are those things that we do, that our parents should express a “job well done.”
For instance, when I was very ill in the eating disorder, and my mom feared I would die…instead of telling me how disappointed she was in what I was doing, and how much it upset her (she did make sure I knew it, but didn’t remind me all the time)…she shifted her focus. And she shifted mine. She started inviting me to redo small projects with her in our little garage. We would go garage saling and buy little fixer-upper tables and chairs…and after she worked all day, she would come home and encourage me to join her out in the garage, with some music and iced tea, and sanders and paint. She gave me positive affirmations, encouraging me on my repurposing skills. She didn’t lie. She saw lots of potential and PASSION in what I was doing. And her encouragement and expression of her delight in me encouraged me so much so, that it played a very large roll in my healing process. It wasn’t focused on eating or weight or bad habits. It was focused on the good I could do. And it was fun.
And along the way, she expressed how proud she was with how far I came even in my health. She was proud.
And every now and then I still hear her tell me how proud she is of how far I’ve come.
Your children GROW when you water them with praise.
Understand the power you behold. You can build up, or you can tear down.
Instead of always talking about those bad things, or those things you disagree with, pick the one thing that you see your child passionate about…that one thing that you see your child gifted at…that one thing that your child has that you may lack…
Whatever it is, praise them on it. And watch as they grow as a person, and how your relationship with them will prosper as well.
Don’t try to mold your children into something you want, but guide them, by example, towards Christ and watch who they were born to be come to life!
You have been given a gift. A precious life. A gift given and chosen by Christ, for YOU to nurture and grow and lead them to Christ. You do not own them. And they do not owe you. But one day, when you’re old and can no longer care for yourself alone, the love and nurturing you instilled in them will blossom back for you.
So treat your children with respect. With love. With kindness. And tell them you are proud!