Five Things Your Kids Should Hear (From You)
I've been thinking about an article about powerful thigns to say to your kids that I read in the Toronto Star. It refers to a new parenting book (one of a million or so recently) and I just sort of scanned it looking for a blog post idea. But I found that the message resonated with me.
Sometimes the advice we come across, even if it is great advice, just doesn't stick. Maybe it isn't what we need to hear at the moment or maybe it is what we want to hear and we just can't confront it.
But I have been thinking lately about the idea of 'love being enough'.
I put a lot of thought and anxiety into my handling of my three crazy characters but maybe I over complicate things. Because in the end, isn't having a safe place to come home to (emotionally, as well as physically) more important than if I let my son borrow my iPod or if the kids are on team sports?
Which is why one of the powerful messages that Paul Axtell says kids need to hear from their parents stuck with me - it's not just I love you. It's: I like you.
“‘I love you’ is unconditional and that’s the broader context for our kids,” explained Axtell in an interview with the Star. “‘I like you’ says ‘I like you as a person, I like how you’re turning out, I like spending time with you, I like you as a friend.’” The two sentiments are both important, he stressed, but together they’re a lot more powerful."
Axtell wrote the book after realizing that parents mostly say negative things to their kids during the day, things like "stop" and "no"!
The other statements: Tell Me More, You're a Fast Learner, We All Make Mistakes, and Let's Read are also powerful and encouraging things to say to your kids on a daily basis.
But I guess the thing about 'I like you' is that it says sends a different message than I love you because you are my child. 'I like you' says I would choose you. And there is something very powerful in saying I would choose to spend time with you; I like who you are.
And I do honestly like my kids (not every minute of every day) and I would and do choose to hang out with them. They should know that more.
What kinds of things do you say to your kids on a daily basis?
Want more chaos? Last year, I asked if pregnant women overshare.