Seven Ways to Say Very Good, Part 1

Affirming Unconditionally
It is not unusual for parents to feel like they are losing their marbles! The best thing that I have found, besides my marbles, is the beauty and power in positive affirmations. Wondrous behaviors seem to appear like magic when kids are validated and affirmed unconditionally for their own value.

Performance does not equate to love. Positive reinforcement on the part of a parent, for their child’s value, is something that will pay off. It isn’t only the soccer game that was won, getting straight As, or other activities that get attention, but the qualities and character of the child himself or herself. Nothing seems to matter as much in the long run as being validated for who we are. When a parent tells a child, “You’re the best, and I am glad you are my child, regardless of the differences we may have now and then,” it gives the child the message that he or she is loved whether or not they have an outstanding ability to perform. Affirmations that are positive can make an insecure and secure child feel loved.

Let Your Child Lead

Some parents know how a child can be very critical and nagging about how they do things differently than the child would like them to. It may be a great idea to allow that critical child to explore and plan a family outing or activity. Give the child a chance to lead and create, while you provide a budget and guidelines. Let them go for it! It may not be the activity the family really enjoys, but recognize the child for putting in the effort. Another idea that will help kids become responsible and accountable is to make a “Things to remember board,” which can be place on the fridge or wall. Kids will be expected to read the board. This will eliminate the “I didn’t knows.” Dates to remember, appointments, school activities and chores can be put on the board. Kids can be responsible for posting these items for a week. This ensures that the child in charge will not forget what is on the board. Recognize their efforts in this exercise.

Don’t Be So Serious

We will get out of this alive…hopefully! Lighten up and keep a sense of humor. Parenting can be overwhelming, but our goal is to enjoy parenthood. If we get too stressed out, we may miss the joy of this time. Be spontaneous. It is fun if done in good faith and spirit. It also improves relationships. Have a food fight or play with water guns, and then everyone can join in the cleanup. No harm intended, and it will make everyone have a belly laugh or two.

Parents are not perfect, and kids need to know this. Encourage your kids to tell you if you do something that hurts them or bothers them. Be sure to apologize if you were in the wrong.

People who admit to a wrong and apologize have integrity and teach their kids about respect, responsibility and accountability.

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