The following is by contributor Vanessa Brown of I Never Grew Up.
I sometimes find myself being too negative with my children. I will hear myself correct them, ask them to stop things, hurry and start things way more often than focusing on positive things. I will tell them “Good Job” on different tasks like cleaning up their room or finishing the homework.
But I realized that I didn’t give them genuine thank you’s enough. Which made me a bit sad to realize, but now I have quickly gotten in the habit of showing appreciation to my children more often.
Showing appreciation to our children and also teaching them to show appreciation to each other can be done in many fun and playful ways.
Here are just a couple of fun ideas to try:
Over the Top Thank You Note
The thank you note could be an over sized Valentine, a funny card from the grocery store or a candy bar saying poster like the one below.
Photo by Vanessa Brown
Just something that is a bit over the top and makes them stop and realize, “Wow Mom really is proud of me and is thankful for me!” I made my daughter this after her behavior had really been almost perfect for quite a few weeks in a row.
Taking your daughter or son on a special one on one outing to sit with them and just tell them how thankful you are for them and specific things they have done. Just a walk around the neighborhood, short trip to get an ice cream cone or a drive through a pretty park.
It doesn’t have to be expensive or over the top but something that takes them out of their normal element and makes them really pay attention to what you are saying to them.
Photo by Vanessa Brown
Their Favorite Thing
Does your son love a certain type of dinner? Or a certain TV show or movie? Or even a certain book? Prepare or sit down and watch/do their favorite thing with them. Tell them that you wanted to do this with them to spend time with them but also to tell them thank you for something they have done lately or a certain way they have been acting.
Most of all I think my girls have just really lit up and loved when I cover them in kisses and hugs and list all the reasons I am thankful for what they have done that day. Probably the most simple but most special way!
What are some simple ways you show your kids that you appreciate them?