"Did you clean the kitchen?"
"Did you finish your homework?"
"Get off your phone and..."
"Why do I have to keep telling you ..."
"You better fix that attitude!"
How many time per day, per week, do you say these things?
Now, compared to that number, how many times per day. do you say more positive and encouraging things?
So often we get so caught up in the movement of our day and what needs to be done that we forget to make sure our child has heard something positive from us every day.
Particularly as children get older we forget that they need to hear affirmations and positive things on a daily basis. Here are 3 things to start making sure you are pouring positively into your children:
1. Thank You
Way too often I hear that parents just expect their children to do what they are told or the responsibilities they have been given and do not deserve a thank you. "That's what they are supposed to do".
Well, at work...those things are what you are supposed to do, but doesn't it feel great when your supervisor takes time out of their day to say thank you for it? How frustrated do you get when it seems like no one is grateful for the things that you do?
Tell your child thank you...it is not going to hurt, I promise...it is actually going to HELP tremendously.
- Thank you for taking out the trash
- Thank you for doing what I asked without any issues or backtalk
- Thank you for doing that without me having to ask you
If there is something you have been getting on to your child about and you see that he or she has at least been putting in the effort to make a change (not just when they get it perfect but even when they are trying) you should tell them thank you. I guarantee you that will push them to want to keep trying and getting better.
2. I am so proud of you
2020 has been tough on EVERYONE! Including children.
Students' grades have been slipping, it has been hard for them to engage in class because of the different format and the teachers learning at the same time how the virtual platforms work.
Rather than just getting on to them about the negative things give them some grace and tell them you are proud of them for showing up and doing the best they can. (Yes, even if you feel they could be doing better.)
Even outside of the pandemic be sure to tell them you are proud of them. Not just when they are publicly recognized for things (school or sport awards and acknowledgements) but every day.
- I am so proud of you for being able to keep your cool today
- I am so proud of you for taking care of all your chores
- I know school has been tough, I am so proud of you for trying your best to get your work done/pulling your grades up/working on the things that we talked about
3. I LOVE YOU!
When is the last time that you told your child that you love them?
How often do they hear that from you?
Do you find yourself only saying it when they meet your standards or do you make sure you are saying it even when you are having to discipline and correct?
If you find yourself not saying "I love you" very often why is that?
You may say he/she knows that I love him/her. But how do you know that? If all they hear are corrections and what they are doing wrong but never hearing that you love them what is that teaching them about love? How would you feel if your partner/spouse hardly ever said they love you?
JUST SAY IT!
For every correction you are giving there should be three times as many compliments, affirmations, and positive responses. Your children are not perfect, neither are you. Acknowledge their efforts. Give them grace. Think about how you would feel if someone else was doing the same to you. For me, if someone is always only giving me negative feedback about what I am not doing well enough I am not going to have very much respect for them, nor am I going to put my best into what I am doing for them.
Thank you for reading this, I am so proud of you for making the steps to truly parent in a more mindful way and considering the way your parenting impacts your child's mental health. I love you.
Need some 1:1 help with this? Book a Discovery Call today and let's chat.