Not too long ago, I wrote a post about praising kids called The Harm in Praising Kids. A discussion followed on ways to show encouragement and be motivating without promoting the need for validation.
Six simple words solve this dilemma beautifully. This concept comes from a blog post you should read by Rachel Macy Stafford who is the Hands Free Mama. I highly recommend her blog. I respect her values, enjoy the way she parents, and am inspired by her writing.
Here’s the post:
Not only does she convey the concept beautifully through her own heartfelt experience, she makes it memorable and usable – two things I need when learning something new.
Yesterday, I told my son, “I love to watch you draw” when he was making me a picture. I also asked questions and opened up a discussion about what it means to him. Those simple words kept me from rushing to what seems to come first for many parents. I remembered the six words and was easily dissuaded from a knee-jerk response of “Good drawing” or “I like this picture.” Instead, it put the good feelings in a place of encouragement with no strings attached, no expectations needing to be fulfilled. And he was so receptive to talking about it. What a moment of sharing.
This morning when I woke up, I told my husband, “I love to watch you parent.” He beamed. I even think his chest expanded with pride.
And what about a boost to yourself? This week I did some public speaking. Instead of listening to my critical voice, I had this thought instead: “I love to see you speak in front of others.”
Enjoy using these special words. I think they are a bit of magic!! Thanks, Rachel!