Last week I met a mom whose daughter is now in her mid 20’s. Recently her daughter told her that growing up she always tried to hide her struggles and failures from her mom because she felt her mom wanted her to be perfect. Her mom had never intended to give her this message and was very surprised to learn that her daughter felt this way.
Children pay great attention to what their parents focus on. If they hear a lot of praise for their accomplishments but not a lot of appreciation for being themselves, they may conclude that it’s their achievements that matter most.
On the other hand, if they hear “I love you” every day along with comments about their character, they may realize it’s who they are not what they do that matters most.
“You were really generous to share that with your sister.”
“You are great at cheering your teammates on!”
“Your smile always brightens up my day.”
“I love your sense of humor!”
Take time today to think about characteristics you admire in your children and then tell your kids.