I’m not a perfect parent, and you’ll never hear me say I am. But one thing I do think I am good at, something I’ve learnt in these four short years, is the value of words, especially when they are of encouragement.
It’s so easy to fall into a pattern of saying “good job!” or “great work!”, and there is nothing wrong with that at it’s essence. After all, we tell the people we love that we do, often, and no matter how many times you say it, it doesn’t diminish it’s worth. The thing I have learnt however is that children (and people in general) really seem to thrive when you pinpoint a reason they are all of those positive attributes. Hearing “You did such a great job helping me make dinner!” gets a much bigger smile, and shows me a clear sense of pride, than me simply saying thank you.
Some of the things I know Calvin loves to hear, are about his ability to help me, help others and his role as a big brother. I never realized just how much you can build a child up, or even cut them down, by something so simple as the human language. As a parent, as a human being, we should all be in the business of building each other up. Cutting people down with words is just as bad at physically harming them, the scars are just harder to see.