Life is hard with a thousand things to do and accomplish every day. We feel burdened by the mistakes we make along the way. Our grandchildren do too. From the moment they wake up in the morning, they are pressured to perform. Getup-get showered-get dressed-get to school-listen to the teacher–pass a test, etc. They hear No, No, No all day long. A child who begins the morning with joy in his eyes can be slump shouldered with weariness and discouragement by day’s end. What can we Recycled Moms do to help?
We can pour heaps of praise on our kids so they know we think they are wonderful and successful. The old adage about every cloud having a silver lining is apropos in this case. If a child makes a poor grade on a test, find the bright spot. They learned what to focus on. Praise her for working hard and doing her best. A best friend was chosen to be on the debate team but our child was not. Point out that everyone has certain gifts and talents while another person may excel in something altogether different.
Opportunities abound to praise children. Set up a situation so you can give them a much needed pat on the back. Even very young children can accomplish something worthwhile such as picking up toys. When you exclaim proudly “What a great job you did! This room looks fantastic!”, the child will feel good about that accomplishment and most likely will afterward pick up toys on his own.
God created every person to be unique. Pick out the specialness in every child and highlight it. Do not stroke the ego, be honest about choices and consequences. But honestly, these are kids we are dealing with and they are not making earth shattering mistakes. A spilled cup of juice will be forgotten in an hour. How a Recycle Mom reacts to that spilled juice can become a lifelong memory of comfort, gentleness and help. Laugh it off. Praise the child for grabbing paper towels so quickly, “fast as a super hero”.
These are our kids that we have been given to raise. We want them to have self confidence and to know who they are; to realize the small things are small and the big things are big. Choices abound for every human being. Let us intentionally choose to increase joy in children by exercising the power of praise!
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
That footprint will last a lifetime and steady a child as he/she grows and faces a tough, negative world outside the arms of a loving Recycled Mom.