Kids are awesome and amazing little creatures! Yet we adults often get so caught up in managing the everyday hussle, bustle, and stresses of busy lives (especially during the holidays) that we tend to get bogged down by the things that go “wrong.” As a result, we may lose sight of the positives, such as what our kids do well and what we love most about them. How often do we communicate to our children, with words and actions, how amazing, unique, and truly wonderful they are?
Let’s try a little exercise. Grab your phone or some scratch paper. Jot down the names of your kids, and under each name list the following:
- Your 3 favorite things about him/her.
- 2 things he/she is skilled at.
- 2 heart-warming or funny memories.
Now let’s reflect. Was this exercise easy for you, or did it force you to really dig deep? Were you smiling or laughing while you thought about your child? Does your child know that you appreciate all these things about him/her? If not, go tell ‘em!
If you already tell your kids what you love about them, keep it up! Everybody loves praise and compliments (although, ironically, most of us – and kids, especially –receive more criticism and correction). Our moods and feelings tend to follow our words and what we focus on. Feeling good is contagious. Positive feelings are central to building positive relationships, and positive relationships are the foundation of happy, healthy, and responsible kids.
Here is the Holiday Challenge:
Over the break, strive to remind your kids how awesome they are. Not only will doing so help them feel good, but this simple act of complimenting will also improve your mood and create a “ripple effect” through your family system.
In addition to your kids, you may also choose to make yourself, your spouse, or a “difficult” relative the focus of your positivity!
Hope you have a wonderful holiday season!
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