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My Kids Are Amazing (I Want Them to Think So Too)

Jul24

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My kids love to be winners, and they want to be the best and fastest at everything.

When I explained the Summer Olympics to them and described how athletes compete to become the best in the world, my six-year-old child’s brain practically exploded.

They race to see who will be the next dinner winner, or the breakfast winner, or who can put the most pieces of chicken in their mouths at the same time.

Who will be the fastest to race down the hall, or to race to the door, and if the person who called it didn’t win? “Well, that was not a race.”

It’s all good-natured, and I know it’s a phase, but I also recognize that desire to be favored as an individual.

I remember being seven or eight years old, and one night as my mom was tucking me into bed, I asked her whom in our family did she love the most?

“I love all of you,” she said.

“Do you love me more than my brother? Do you love me more than Daddy?”

My mom was very diplomatic and generous, and she wouldn’t commit to loving one person more than another. I wanted to be loved the MOST, to be that important and special to somebody.

One time I was talking to a friend about how “My daughter is so beautiful, and I feel like we tell her that all the time, but sometimes I wonder if we tell her that too much.”

I guess I was worried about vanity or placing too much importance on her looks, but my friend wisely said, “As she grows up, there will be so many things that try to tell her otherwise. Don’t worry about telling her too often that she’s beautiful.”

Every day I tell my kids that I think they are beautiful and kind and smart, and I’ve never met kids more amazing to me than them. I bet they will get tired of hearing about it.

At night we go through the list of how much I love them: how I will love them when they are stinky, and I even love them when they act badly, and that I will always love them no matter what. I hope that if they hear how amazing they are, they’ll feel and believe it too.

About the author


http://smallnotebook.org
Rachel Meeks is the voice behind the popular blog Small Notebook, a resource for simplifying and organizing your home. (Because it's so much easier to be a parent when you're not surrounded by a ton of stuff.)


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9 Responses to “My Kids Are Amazing (I Want Them to Think So Too)”

  1. claire Aug 01 at 3:23 am Reply Reply

    I was just thinking about this yesterday, about how I want to get something for my son that is very very similar to what you wrote in your last paragraph. Along the lines of I may not always agree with your choices etc etc but ending with but I will always love you. You’ve just encouraged me to actually write it down and get on it!

  2. Lisa Aug 06 at 11:14 am Reply Reply

    I have a close friend who always said to her children as they were growing up, “Who’s better than you?” and the response she taught them:  “NOBODY!!!”

    I love the idea of encouraging children’s self esteem and agree that they will face many challenges in their future.  Why not give them the tools to face the world with confidence and grace?

    In fact, when I feel like an obstacle is insurmountable – I ask myself, “Who’s better than you?”

    NOBODY!

  3. Sarah Aug 06 at 1:41 pm Reply Reply

    I always thought my mom was funny because, to her, her kids were the most beautiful, the smartest, the most talented at so many things. Some people are probably appalled by this, but I was never smug about anything. My mother has a heart of gold, and I always knew that the most important thing was for me to be kind. From my first day of school, I have been a friend to those whom no one else would be friends with. My mother’s love for me impressed upon me how great it feels to be loved unconditionally and makes me want to love others that way. Everyone should know that feeling.

    Because I am not as amazing as my mother tells me I am, there have been times when I have felt my shortcomings. In those times, it always makes me feel better to know that someone loves and accepts me just the way I am. Having this emotional rock in my life allows me to try harder at more things, knowing that I will never lose everything; there is always one person who thinks I’m the cat’s meow.

    We were not generally coddled. We had to plenty we had to do, whether we liked it or not; we weren’t given every toy under the sun; and we were held accountable when we should have been. My mother was even honest with us about the things we were really bad at (“Well, that’s not a gift for you. Just do your best when you have to do it.”), and that kept me from wasting my time trying to be the world’s best at something I have no natural talent for; I was able to cultivate my strengths.

    Mom’s love, acceptance, and belief are invaluable. I’ll give the same to my kids, whether they’re prodigies or not.

    • Sarah Aug 06 at 1:46 pm Reply Reply

      She also told me that I’m the most beautiful girl in the world, and while I know that isn’t true, it’s really nice to know that someone thinks so :)

  4. Clare@doingitsimply Aug 06 at 8:17 pm Reply Reply

    This is so lovely Rachel! Kids do want to hear how much we love and value them. If we tell them enough, hopefully they will internalize it and hopefully think these kinds of thoughts for themselves. I have a daughter who often veers towards the negative in her thinking about herself, and I try to keep her bolstered up by telling her what I love about her, but more important than that, I encourage her to use affirmations and to watch what she is thinking, so she can correct her thoughts herself. Thank you for writing this!

  5. Jess Aug 08 at 3:07 pm Reply Reply

    I so love this.

  6. Theresa Nov 30 at 12:03 pm Reply Reply

    I have a mid twenties daughter, very fine young woman, in grad school, never gave us any problems, ever. My husband and I tell her a lot how smart she is, what a spectacular person she is, proud of her, etc.  I sometimes wonder if we tell her TOO much. Maybe she puts too much pressure on herself, that if she makes a mistake, she won’t be all those things we say she is, she won’t measure up. And also…she has said, (since she doesn’t have a boyfriend, all her friends getting married, etc.) that “no guys seem to think so”.  

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