Thursday, October 9, 2008

Where is your focus?

I always tried to convey what was important to me by the way I encouraged my children as they were growing up.  It was more important that I encouraged, cheered on, and complimented them for being kind to each other, generous, thoughtful, faithful, courteous, gentle with their siblings, etc. than to always be feeding them "you are sooo pretty," "I love your shoes (dress, purse, whatever)" etc.

Catch your child(ren) doing something nice for someone and pull them aside and tell them how proud you are of them and what a blessing they are.  When they do something for someone, take time to talk to them and reinforce how wonderful it feels to do something for someone:  "Don't you feel so WONDERFUL that you were able to encourage someone like that?  I'm so PROUD of you!  That was so UNSELFISH!"  Let them hear you tell others about their successes as well.

Also, I made it a point never to discuss my children's failings with other people.   I think it is important to be loyal to your children and it really isn't other people's business what they're going through.  Then your children know everyone thinks the best of them and they don't have to be embarrassed over a temporary lapse -- even when they are very young.

Challenge:  Focus on giving character compliments, and compliments on behavior rather than looks.  Pour energy into your child(ren) by taking time to elaborate on their unselfish successes, and why it was so appreciated.  Make a commitment not to discuss negatives about your children with any one, but be lavish in sharing things you are proud of them for in demonstrating integrity and good character.

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