Yesterday's post, Kids See Themselves as We See Them, reflected on how our judgments can burden our kids, even those unintentional judgments we don't think they recognize. Today, let's consider the positive ways we see them.
My kids are sensitive to even small criticism, but they're less quick to perceive my wonder about them. I have to be more intentional about sharing it.
I'm not talking about sharing compliments that are vaguely masked critiques ("Thanks honey, I really appreciate it when you pick up your towel."), but the bigger and more heart-centered stuff (a heartfelt "Wow, I never thought of it that way," when they blow my mind in a philosophical discussion). Regular expressions of wonder at their way of being go a long way to helping them realize how we see them. I also talk with them during bigger conversations, specifically giving feedback about things that I admire--their courage to speak up, generosity with a friend, wisdom to walk away from a pointless argument that I can't seem to walk away from, ability to rearrange a room in their head before moving anything--the list goes on and on.
How about your kids? Do they know that you admire them? Not because they do what's expected, but because of how their nature shines through? Join me, let's make sure we're letting them know today, tomorrow, this week, and every week.
As a mom (to 2 teenage sons), wife, and person in the world, I have been on a long imperfect journey. I have made many mistakes, but with mindfulness, emotional reflection, and lots of support I have learned enormously from those mistakes.