The more we show our children how valued and loved they are, the greater our opportunities for creating rich experiences with them will be. When they know they are loved unconditionally, they will trust us. When they trust us, they will allow us into their lives.
Our children are bombarded by the world daily. They hear false messages, they are made to think their value is based on what they do or don’t do, their self-image is often created from fashion magazines and pop culture. To be a kid or a teenager today is so hard.
When our children are with us, they should feel loved and accepted simply for being themselves, based on nothing they do or don’t do, how they look or don’t look. They need our love. The world will not love them like we do. We can grow strong, confident children by pouring our love into them. Pouring our hearts into their hearts.
We can tell them repeatedly, “I love you no matter what. No matter what you do, my love for you doesn’t change.” We can model to them the love Christ has for us. Unconditional love. Start a tradition of letting the last words from your mouth every night be, “I love you no matter what.”
When our kids have the opportunity to hear someone other than their parents speaking their praises, it can make a big impact. How many of you had an influential teacher in your life? Teachers spend more hours of the day with our children than we do oftentimes. When a teacher is able to point out a strength in a child, it has the ability to encourage that child to try much harder in that area.
Our school year wrapped up a couple of weeks ago. Awards Day left my husband and I in tears as we listened to the teachers speak about each of the children they were able to influence. Our older two boys were completing kindergarten and second grade. As we listened to the awards each of them received, and the words spoken about them, we were unable to hold back our tears. They said things about our boys that we thought only we had seen in them. Of course, we recorded each of them receiving their awards, and I have replayed them at least 10 times. Each time wondering if it penetrated the hearts of my boys like it did mine. Did they hear what others noticed about them? Did they understand that the good was noticed and it did matter. Did they hear?
The words spoken about them were so special I wanted them to be remembered forever. I wanted the boys to have access to those words anytime they needed a little bit of encouragement. So I spent one evening playing back the awards over and over in order to write down the speeches exactly as they were delivered. I printed them onto cardstock and gave them to the boys. I have a special binder for each child to hold special letters and cards they have received.
Have you captured a memory or a moment in time that you want to write down as a reminder? Maybe it wasn’t an award, but another parent commenting on a character trait they observed. What if we wrote down these compliments and stored them in a journal for our kids? They could flip through them whenever they needed to be encouraged. We can take these special moments and preserve them for our children.
We all need to be affirmed. Though we want our children to be humble, we also want to provide encouraging reminders of the good they hold inside them. We can love them, we can affirm them, we can preserve other’s affirmations for them, and we can pray, pray, pray.
We can pray that the positive traits that are being recognized will continue to develop and mature. Then we can watch God’s workmanship as He molds and shapes our children.