Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Children Would Never: How to Affirm your Child, Part 2

Before I became a Mom, I had lofty, pie in the sky dreams of what motherhood would be. I couldn't wait for the sweet, powder fresh, calm, quiet infant. My baby would never cry or fuss. As he would grow into a toddler, he would never test boundaries and my older children would always be respectful and obedient...and then the children were born.

I can't tell you how many times I have had both feet and hands in my mouth from saying, "my children will never......." or "I will never allow my child to ........" In fact, I truly believe that anyone who says that their child is perfect, always happy, sleeps on schedule and a perfect little angel all the time... must be the grandma.

After our children were born, I swore to myself that I would never forget the middle of the night feedings, the colic at dinner time, the dumping of house plants and eating the dirt, me walking all the way down the aisle after communion to find my entire blouse unbuttonedand Scott trying to nurse.

I promised, I would remember these things so that I would not be that obnoxious mother that told me that her child NEVER did any of those things. There were days when my girlfriends (did I really call them that?) had me believing that I had birthed three little toots. Seriously, you would have sworn that their children, who were all about two to six years older than ours, were perfect little angels and boy, did they ever feel sorry for me!

But after a day of hearing that "my child never did that", I would go into my children's rooms and say prayers with them, tell them how much Mommy and Daddy loved them and I knew in my heart that God had given us very special gifts. I never in a million years thought I could love three little people as much as I loved them.

Now, affirming little children who were perfectly ours was easy. Now you notice, I didn't say perfect, they were perfectly ours. Remember the old saying "The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree"? Well this was definitely true in our case.

Affirmations should be truthful and not empty praise. I always felt that praying with and for your child is one of the most affirming things you can do for yourself and for your child. Think about it, don't you feel affirmed when you know that someone is praying for you? Just Him hearing you say,"Thank you for giving me three wonderful, unique children. Please keep Sarah safe at preschool tomorrow and keep Brandon calm as he takes his spelling test. Please help Scott to be his best self and most of all let each and every one of their lights shine. Let them use their special gifts that you gave them and share them with others. Amen."

Keep the affirmations exact, honest and loving. Sayings like:
~ "I'm so glad God gave you to me."
~"You are a gift from God to the world."
~ "We are glad you are in our family because this is where you belong."
~ "We love holding you and having you near us."
~ "You are such a blessing to us."

There are so many ways you can affirm your children from the time they are born through adulthood. Before long, the roles reverse and they will be affirming you. Now that's a great feeling.

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