Tell your child, “I am so glad you are my son/daughter.”
I said it. They smiled. I kissed the tops of their heads. That was about it with the love fest. I didn’t get any proclamations that they are so glad I am their mother. I didn’t get an “I love you.” Just a smile. And that’s ok. As parents you have to take love in many different forms. It’s about actions, not necessarily words. And that goes both ways. So by telling my kids that I am so glad they are mine is nice, but I need to show them. I need to make sure my actions are saying the same thing.
When you have one child who is going through a rough patch and another child who is in a very loving and good behavior phase, it’s hard to show equal amounts of love to each of them. That doesn’t mean there is a favorite child; it just means that one is more challenging than the other and may get a more positive reaction. Does positive behavior get as much attention as negative behavior? I like to think it does. In our house, we really reward positive behavior with encouragement and positive feedback. Negative behavior, on the other hand… Well, let’s just say we’re still trying to figure that out. We’ve tried ignoring it. We’ve tried showing an over abundance of love and attention (since most bad behavior is really to get our attention.) We’ve tried talking it through. We’ve tried time outs. We’ve tried everything. I can’t say one specific thing works in our house, so we really have to evaluate the situation, the child’s actions and their reactions to what we’re doing. Parenting is always a “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of job. I’m 7 years in, and I’m still trying to figure it out.
What I have learned is that my actions need to be louder than my words. (And definitely not the other way around because loud words in this house = yelling, which = 5 cents in our Sad Face Jar.) I TOLD my children that I am so glad they are mine, but I will be working for the rest of our lives to SHOW them. That’s what this challenge taught me today, and I’m tucking it in my pocket of parenting wisdom, which I’ll be discussing further with tomorrow’s challenge – Pray for wisdom. Stay tuned!