As a Mom, I have the greatest influence when it comes to building and shaping my children into confident and successful adults. I have the ability to start their lives off with some wonderful advantages. So I’ve realized that there are gifts we can give our babes, and none of the top 5 gifts on my list are material things and I’m not sad about this at all. Christmas is coming and they will get stuff, but what will last a lifetime are my top 5 gifts.
It’s easy to give material things. You listen to those little dears as Christmas is approaching and hear how much they want that toy, how they’d do anything for it and how they want it so, so badly, and it’s easy to please the little sweetheart on Christmas morning and the thrill will last for… well a while, hopefully.
The gifts I’m talking about take effort, consistency and love. Ideally, in my mind, I’m thinking absolutely, of course, no problem, I’m on it. What Mom wouldn’t do anything for their babes? But in reality, I’m just a human with so many flaws, so how can I live up to this level of responsibility, successfully? I want to give them what’s valuable and lasting, without screwing it up!
The first thing on my list of top 5 gifts that my little dear needs is to be given sincere compliments. They need to hear how well they did. They need me to ‘catch’ them doing something right and tell them that I noticed and that I’m proud of them. A well placed compliment, said with absolute sincerity, can do so much for their self-esteem, now, and in the long term.
My idea of a perfect complement, for an older child, is more than just saying good job getting an A in history. It should sound more like, ‘I noticed that you brought your history book home and really took time to learn that subject well. Good job putting in all that effort to get an A on your test. Trust me, you’ll have their attention at this point, then after you’ve described in some detail, what you noticed in them, add the ribbon on top. Wrap it up and put a bow on your present. Say, I’m so proud of you today. You showed me what a smart guy / girl you are by trying your best to do a great job.
With a little one, sometimes they’re so distracted, hopping around and playing, that it’s hard to get their attention, right? But if you grab hold of their little hand and look them in the eyes and say, ‘I saw you pick up your toys and put them in the toy box. I’m so proud that you’re growing up to be so helpful.’ Then add the ribbon on top, say ‘I’m so happy with you and I can’t wait to tell Daddy what you did today. He’ll be glad to hear about it, too.’
Good news, for me. I’ve done some of this successfully with my little ones. They’re so easy for me to talk to and I know it puffs up their little chest with confidence when I tell them all about the good things I see. It puts a smile on their face and we both walk away happy.
Bad news, for me. My love language is not words of affirmation. I don’t light up and thrive with a compliment, not that I don’t enjoy hearing one, but it doesn’t occur to me as easily to speak words of affirmation to my older children. I just figure that they know when they’ve done a good job and that’s enough, right? Oh my goodness. This is why I’m reminding myself that being a mom is about sacrificing and giving, and to never give up. I’m so glad I’m surrounded with other successful beautiful mom’s that are an excellent example to me.
I heard an expression. ‘Babies cry for it, grown men die for it’. – Recognition! Imagine if your boss spent his time watching to catch you doing something well so he could point it out and compliment you. What a dream. How worth it would it be to give this gift of a compliment, and publically recognizing my children and sending them off in this difficult world with some built in confidence to start their own journey through life.
This is another good reason to be a Stay At Home Mom SAHM.
To be continued next time for gifts # 2,3,4,and 5. Do you have a special way that you build up your little dears that makes their little heart sing? If you do, they’ll love you forever and I’d love to hear about it.