In the throws of raising babies into adults, it is more common than not, for most hours of your day to consist of one word, and one word only " no ". Then you get so tired of saying that word, you try and get creative so everyone's eyeballs don't explode from the monotony of it all. How many ways can I think of to tell my little 20 lb three year old " hm, maybe jumping off the back of the couch onto the dog, might not end well for either of you. "
Some days are so tough that by the time I'm tucking them in at night I am left thinking to myself " do they know how much I love them? Do they know how awesome they are ? "
Motherhood-ing is tough. But you've heard that before, and we all know it's true. You make mistakes, your kids make mistakes, and there are days you literally feel like you are having out of body experiences. Days that you feel like you are the only parent who could be going through this. I assure you, you are not alone. Those days will come, and they will go. What's important is that your child knows, even on their " off " days, they are still your priority, and that they have unconditional love.
In theory that sounds easy enough, but some days are so packed full of work, school, homework, activities and extras that you may end up only saying a handful of sentences to each other. Heck, I homeschool my kids and it's still chaotic around here.
Whatever your days may look like, it is important that in all of life's madness, your little ones are still getting their " love cups " filled up by you. Here are a few compliments that will help everyone feel the love!
1. Compliment them for being a part of the family.
Sometimes kids need to know that by simply being themselves, they matter. Even a little " I just love being your mom ". Goes a long way.
2. Compliment them for their efforts toward the family.
" hey bud, the way you set that table was so great! " When kids understand that what they do matters, and the way they help the family makes a difference, they will be more likely to keep helping. I always used to love when an adult noticed me. Even more so when it was one of my parents.
3. Compliment their character.
More and more I feel as if the world we are living in, and raising our children in, is becoming less about genuine kindness. Sometimes I am almost surprised when I see it anymore. When you witness your child showing compassion, trustworthiness, or kindness, it's important to offer them sincere words of affirmation. Let them know it's good to be sweet and nice.
4. Compliment their hard work, even if it isn't up to " adult " standards.
I will admit I have a tiny form of OCD and sometimes my kids do their chores, but it still hurts my eyes. My daughter LOVES to clean and she folds her clothes and puts them away in her dresser. When I open her wardrobe to see it, my eyes want to bulge out like that one emoji, and then I look at her smiling from ear to ear, and she is clearly pleased as punch with herself. It would kill me to burst her bubble. So instead of saying " that's not how we do it " I just smile back and say " wow, you did the job I asked you to, and you did it the best you could! If the stacking gets to hard, I would be happy to help ". Kids will not always be able to do it the way we have in our minds, but if they are indeed trying their best, you don't want to crush their spirit. Complimenting them now instead of waiting until the reach perfection is important.
5. Compliment them when they work hard and get it right.
Sometimes I give my kids a job, and they do it so well, I am left speechless. I forget that my kids can do more than I occasionally give them credit for. Letting them know when they go above and beyond is always worth noting!
6. Compliment them on their sense of fashion, even when they don't share the same taste as you.
My middle one is always mismatching his socks, and wearing shorts with winter shirts. As long the weather permits, and we're not going to a wedding, I let him do as he pleases. He puts so much thought into his outfits, and he is genuinely proud of them. And for his creativity I give him 10 points! Within appropriate choices, it's nice for them to know we love and accept them.
7. Compliment them when are obedient and respectful.
Especially on hard days, it's easy to fall into patterns where you focus on everything your child is doing wrong, making it that much more important to tell them when they are doing it right. Don't forget to tell them " in case I haven't told you recently, I love the way you shared with your brother today " or " I appreciate the way you treat your dad ".
We may not be able to give our kids everything money can buy, but sweet words, and kind compliments will be more valuable to your kids than the newest toy any day. If a child is surrounded by love, and support think of what wonderful things they could achieve. Not only will it make them more confident, but it will keep them feeling safe and secure. I think we all could benefit a little more from that!
MORE FROM LOREN MILLER: