Wendy Warner is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in private practice at Trinity Family Counseling Center. In addition to working with couples, children, and individuals, Wendy also enjoys teaching the premarital classes for all couples planning to marry at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Macomb.
Think back to when you were a child, and someone paid you a compliment. Maybe you can’t remember the exact comment, but you can picture the people who found positive, encouraging things to say about you. Do you remember how you felt when you were around them? Whether it was a parent, relative, neighbor, or teacher, they made you feel good about you. What is that quality?
Those were the people in your life who knew the power of affirming and encouraging others. When someone acknowledges a strength, recognizes our effort or believes in us, it can send us soaring. Notice none of those things is about being the best at anything. We all have strengths; we all need someone to believe in us. Each day presents the opportunity to affirm and encourage our loved ones if we are looking for it.
When it comes to parenting, part of our role is to instruct and help these little beings go from immature behavior to maturity. It is so tempting to do this by calling out weaknesses in our kids, criticizing their mistakes and rewarding only A+ results. We need to remember how empowered we felt by the people who believed in us, affirmed the little things and didn’t focus on our faults. Watch your child beam as you affirm their tenderness with the family pet or their creativity in their Lego masterpiece.
Give your kids the gift of feeling good about themselves through affirmation and encouragement.