Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Parent's Toolbox

As as parent of a teenager, 2nd grader and preschooler, I've discovered
that affirmation is a powerful tool in the parent's toolbox. In
retrospect I've also realized that I missed many opportunities to use
my affirmation tool in the early years of my teenager.

A child receives affirmation in complete subtlety; our simple nod of approval suggest acceptance and belonging. Conversely, our lack of affirmation, that simple nod for an effort put forth, never shows up subtly, but instead, usually as a defiance.

As of late, I've learned to look at every bug caught, stroke of color on a
scratch sheet of paper and give undivided attention to the little one
calling me. Using that tool of affirmation is my investment into their
self confidence. It builds their self esteem.

And with any project requiring tools for assembly and adjustments, using my tool of affirmation is never too late when the assembly has been completed, but due to time and wear and tear, my project now requires adjustments. So, as a repairman that comes with tools in hand, my goal is for a completed project, lacking in nothing. I'm encouraged to refocus, refine and restore the loss of self confidence created from missed opportunities of not utilizing my tools properly or timely.

How to affirm? Some ideas or areas to use your tools:

1. Make time to attend activities in which your child participates.
2. Acknowledge your child's effort, even if the job was not done to your liking.
3. Set time aside each day to spend with each child - even if it's only 5 minutes.
4. Enjoy something with your child that they like doing.
5. Listen to their endless talk and ask non-judging questions or interject often.

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