You never get too old to appreciate encouragement. And you’re never too young to need it. From the time a baby is born, a parent encourages and cheers him to roll over, stand up, walk, and talk. All similarities to dog-training aside, a child thrives on positive encouragement, particularly from his parents.
There are many ways to encourage your children, and it is important to use more than one tactic to get the message through his sometimes-thick head.
1. Words. Never underestimate how much your child appreciates what you say. Not just what you say to her, but also about her. I was recently convicted when I realized that one of my daughters took seriously some of my teasing about her happy-go-lucky attitude. She’s very intelligent but somewhat clueless about life’s eccentricities. We have referred to her as a bit “blonde” on occasion. I have resolved to stop this reference because I don’t want her to think something is wrong with being innocent. Instead, I boast of her sweet countenance, her kind heart, and her never-ending affection.
2. Actions. Physical affection, such as hugging and even wrestling, is a tangible way to demonstrate love and encouragement. Almost all children crave touch from their parents. Notice how a child runs to a parent when she falls down or runs into a wall head-on. You would think those walls were highly visible, but they apparently jump out just as a child rounds the corner in high-speed pursuit of an older sibling. Maybe all adults aren’t touchy-feely, but make the effort to wrap your kids in a bear hug every day, and you’ll likely see a noticeable shift in their confidence.
3. Letters and cards. My kids love to make cards and pictures for their friends. Anything they get from others are taped and pinned to the wall around their bed. Make sure you get represented in that collage of love by giving them cards. Lunchbox notes are a great way to remind him how much you love him. For young children, a heart and a few XOs will thrill them to pieces. When my husband or I am gone for more than a couple of days on a trip, we always mail home a card for the girls to get. They jump up and down to get mail, especially from mom or dad. When I went to Paris last year, I sent home a postcard each day of something I had seen, such as Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe. Of course, I beat most of those cards home, but a string of mail with a picture and a little note was better than Christmas.
To help boost you into action, I’ve partnered with Hallmark Cards to sponsor a giveaway. They have launched a line of Kids Encouragement Cards to help parents connect with their kids even when they’re not together. They have products that celebrate accomplishments, build confidence, capture memories and help establish new traditions. Hallmark has a long history of high quality, family-friendly cards, keepsakes, and decorative items.
The PRIZE will be a pack of five assorted Hallmark Kids Encouragement greeting cards, a Hallmark Gold Crown coupon for $2 off of three greeting cards and two Hallmark Text Bands. Talk about launching your love note game plan with a bang!
To enter this giveaway, leave a comment below describing how you encourage your kids (email readers click through to the post to leave a comment). Do you have a special phrase you use? A secret handshake? A funny face? Enter NOW! The deadline for entries is Wednesday, August 15, at midnight CST. I’ll pick a winner based on random selection and announce the name on Thursday, August 16.