Positive encouragement goes a long way

By: 
Monika Spaulding, Digital Editor

10 positive phrases kids want to hear today:

I love being your parent

You make me smile

Your mistakes are fine with me

I know you can do it

I enjoy listening to your stories

I learned something from you today

I love watching you play

I’m proud of you

I love spending time with you

I think about you when we’re apart

-Katie Hurley, LCSW and author of #nomoremeangirls

 

I came across this on the internet this week and saved it. I absolutely love it. I feel like I say a lot of these things to my girls on a regular basis, but I printed this list off to remind me to say them more often. 

Positive encouragement, to me, is the best way to help anyone feel their best and do their best, whether it’s your child, a friend, a co-worker, an employee, etc. We all strive to do our best when people encourage us.

When reading through these, I think of how my kids make me smile a thousand times a day. I’m lucky to have three kids, because that is three times the smiles! (And some days three times the headaches...but we are focusing on the positive here!!)

Kids feel a lot of pressure from several different directions: parents, teachers, coaches, friends. The list goes on. Sometimes they put pressure on themselves that parents don’t even realize they are doing. I’ve seen that with my own girls. Reminding them that mistakes are ok, no one is perfect is an important reminder for them, as well as parents. No one is perfect. We all try to do our best daily and some days I get in bed and feel accomplished. Other days, I crawl and in bed and pray that God gives me a chance to try it all over again tomorrow.

When sitting at Ellie’s band concert Thursday night, band director Bonnie Harmon told the audience to continue to encourage their children to stick with band. She said, “Tell them, ‘I know you can do it.’” Learning an instrument is not easy, but the benefits in the long run are so worth it. 

Those six simple words can go further than you think. Learning and doing something new is challenging and intimidating. If your child knows you support them and believe in them, it will encourage them to keep going.

I love the phrase in the above list “I enjoy listening to your stories.” With three girls who all LOVE to talk, I hear A LOT of stories!! Anyone who knows my girls has probably heard a story or two themselves. I just told Katie the other day, “I love hearing your stories!” She has some whoppers! None of the girls make up stories quite like she does. 

I read once that if you show your kids you are listening when they tell you the small stuff, they will keep telling you when it’s the important stuff. I’ve never forgot that and make it a priority to listen with both ears when they are telling me something. While I may think it’s silly, I realize it’s important to them.

Abby is my sponge. When she learns something, she asks 20-plus questions about it. She wants to understand it completely and from every direction. She teaches me something new daily. And she loves to rub it in when she knows something I don’t. It drives her dad up the wall sometimes, but I love to see her confidence when she gets to teach me something new.

“I love watching you play.” This could be a variety of things, from watching Katie play pretend in her playroom, to watching Abby play every sport she can get herself involved in to watching Ellie learn her instrument. Recently Ellie has started teaching herself to play guitar. It’s been cool seeing her learn the strings, read the notes and make music. She had lessons several years ago but never really got the hang of it. Learning to read music this year in band has given her the confidence to pick it up and try again. 

My girls probably hear me groan about running them here and there throughout the week and it wouldn’t hurt for me to tell them more how much I enjoy watching them at all these activities, because at the end of the day, I wouldn’t have it any other way and I will miss it terribly when these days are over.

“I’m proud of you.” Who doesn’t want to make those they love proud? I still hear this phrase on a regular basis from my own parents. Lately it’s made me cry every time my mom tells me this. But she continually tells me how proud she is of me as a mother, as a writer, as a school board member, as person, as a friend. She’s really good at letting my brother and I know how much she loves us, no matter how old we are! 

I hope I continue this with my girls. The world is rough and there is always someone who is going to better than you. Jon and I tell the girls often that as long as they work hard and put everything they have into what they do, that’s all we ask. I could not be more proud of our girls and I think they know that!

I was putting Ellie to bed one night and she said, “If you were someone else’s mom, I’d wish you were mine.” It may be the best thing anyone has ever said to me. It made me feel so good, that I make sure to tell the girls daily how thankful I am that God chose me to be their mother. 

Spending time with my family is my number one priority and I’m thankful for a job that lets me make them a priority. Jon and I also make an effort to spend time individually with our girls. Doing things as a family is important, but making sure they each know how much we love them individually is just as important. One thing is for sure, none of our girls have the same personality and the same likes. I hope our girls know that through the efforts of planning things one-on-one we want them to see how much we enjoy them individually, as well as together.

The last phrase, “I think of you when we are apart,” is one I don’t use much. I think about my kids all the time, as most parents do. I think it’s such a part of human nature to think about your kids you don’t realize how much you do. But I don’t think I convey that to them as much as I should. I often tell friends I’m thinking of them when they are having a rough day, a good day or need a little encouragement. I plan to make an effort to let my girls know more often that I think of them throughout the day and hope they are happy, having fun and enjoying life....even if it’s at school!

Wednesday I went to a Prevent Child Abuse luncheon. As I sat and listened to all the resources available to parents in the community to be the best they can be, I thought, “We are all in this together.” I volunteer to read with kids weekly at Bradie Shrum and coach Abby and Katie’s softball teams to be a positive role model for these kids. They aren’t all mine, but I’m going to listen to them and encourage them as if they were and I would hope other parents would do the same for my kids.

There isn’t a child on this earth who couldn’t benefit from a few extra positive words of encouragement.

Anyway, I just loved this list and wanted to share it with our readers! Print it off and hang it somewhere you will see it. We all need a reminder to encourage our kids, whether they live in our house or in our community. 

-monika@salemleader.com

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