I’ve found myself in the midst of several great books lately, yet this one has captivated me the most. Though I would greatly enjoy writing a review, I think God would have that for another day. What I wanted to mention to you tonight was an activity actually. It’s one that at first glance sounded simple enough, yet when left to ponder my answers, I found myself looking harder at what my first off-the-top-of-my-head answers really projected. You see, this book is written by a seasoned Mom, and not only that, she’s a licensed psychotherapist and has a passion for equipping moms for every facet of raising exceptional children. She’s a straight-shooter and has helped me look at just how to achieve intentional parenting. As in many aspects of life, it requires planning.
One part that has struck a cord with me is that I need to be intentional in communicating to my children so they may comprehend that they have value simply because they are, not all in what they do. Here’s the activity that shifted my thoughts:
It is important for your child to know what it is you like about him or her. Make a list and set aside a time where you can sit with your son or daughter and read the list you have made. He or she may not know how to react to this moment, but that is okay. What is important is that you take the time to say it; your son or daughter needs to hear it from you. Be sure you only say it if it is true. Be prepared to give examples.
And there you go… try this one on for size! I felt it impressed upon me to speak these words of “likeness” to our middle child, just a sense from the Spirit that she needed this. I swing with this child from feelings of intense correction to a lack of attention when all is going smoothly. With this activity, it challenged me to see her through my “new” mom eyes again, you know, the ones that stared at her in infancy and as a young toddler with awe, wonder, and sheer enjoyment, not from what she could do, but simply for who she was. I started off thinking of her actions, and yet really wanted to share with her her words of what I like about her heart. I chose a moment with just her and I. I admit I began a little guarded, not sure how it would be received, but I have a feeling the words just sunk down to her core. You know, the place where you go to when the world is crashing around you. I wanted to plant these words of unconditional love, admiration, appreciation and praise. So often negativity, criticism, and correction surface so quickly. I wanted to make more deposits in the bank of encouragement. She maturely responded with a nod of acceptance. When asked if she wanted me to go on, she said, “No, that’s okay Mommy” (smirk). I just heart this child.
SO… one child down, 2 to go – and I can’t wait. How about you? Will you accept this challenge and complete this activity? The character of your child has been entrusted to you, by no mistake. Remember that God is your biggest fan, and He never gives up on you. Children know in their hearts that a mother’s love is bigger than their own mistakes. Enjoy, and report back, always fun to share!