Forget about the New Year’s diet promises that you can’t keep. I can’t seem to stay on track with an exercise routine plus a perfect food plan that only makes me feel like I’m letting myself down. What I need to do is remind myself that even if I don’t lose those extra 10 holiday pounds, I’m still awesome in my own right.
And instead of just being concerned with my own feelings, I also need to fill my kids up with kind words and encouragement every day in an effort to help them combat all the negativity that’s out there. As busy parents, I think we tend to forget that our kids deal with daily dilemmas from peer pressure, puberty problems, lack of motivation and bullies who want to bring them down more.
So start the new year with a new plan to praise your kids! I may have limits on the amount of food I eat, but there is no limit on how much praise I can give my kids. Here are 10 things you should tell them daily to keep them inspired.
1. I love you
These three words pack a lot of punch, but when we get caught up in hectic schedules, these words are sometimes left out. Saying them needs to be a priority!
For your toddler, there’s a great little rhyming book called I Love You Through and Through(Bookworm.com, $9). It has adorable illustrations, and it talks about how much you love your child. And for your older kids, there’s an insightful book called What I Love About You (eBay, $10). It has fill-in-the-blank book prompts that will let you say and write what’s in your heart since those words are not always on the tip of your tongue. Tell the most important person in your life just how much he or she means to you by completing these unique activities.
2. I’m glad to see you
Sometimes, kids get a sense that when they get home, their parents aren’t that happy to have them there. When your children come home from school, let them know that you are happy they are there and that they belong there. This little gesture goes a long way and will make your kids feel welcomed and loved.
3. You make me proud
That moment when your child runs to you to share something she has accomplished — perhaps a good test score or something she made in school — is the moment you can pause and say, “You make me proud.” Your praise will lift her spirits and confidence to another level.
4. I’d love to hear more about that
I can’t tell you how many times my kids have come to me to tell me something while I was in the middle of a task and I ushered them off by saying, “Not now.” Never again. It only takes a few minutes to show how much you care to hear what your child is saying. So in the new year, take time to have more teachable moments. When your children have something to say, listen and let them do the talking. They will feel so very loved.
5. I believe in you
Sometimes, kids work so hard and feel a big letdown if they think they’re not meeting our expectations. Let your children know that no matter what, you believe in them. It’s about them, not you — and you can’t live through them vicariously and put demands on them that they can’t meet. Not only tell them that you believe in them, but tell them to believe in themselves.
6. You impress me
Your child will beam with pride when he hears how much he’s impressed you!
7. What would you like to do?
This question coming from you may really stump your kid. We are always making choices for our kids, and we hardly ever give them a chance to choose what they would like to do.
8. I trust you
Even if your child often defies you by doing the exact opposite of what you’d like her to do, challenge her trust by using a little reverse psychology. Tell your child you trust her. With that kind of pressure, she’ll rise to the challenge just so she doesn’t let you down.
9. You are so brave
It takes a lot of courage to be a kid and deal with some of the frightful things that come kids’ way. Whether he spoke out and stood up for a friend or even stood up for himself against a bully, comfort your kid by telling him he’s brave.
10. You make me happy just by being you!
Your kids deserve to know that their beautiful presence and existence make you happy. That sense of belonging and the tingling good feeling they’ll get will set off fireworks inside of them.
Resolve to make this resolution a promise that you can keep!