Teaching your family love and respect with love notes
by Jean Tracy, MSS
If you want your kids to love and respect you and each other too, keep reading. I can almost guarantee each member of your family will give and receive the love and respect each member craves. Your mission, if you choose to take it is, “Look for the Good” in your kids. It CAN be done!
The Biggest Parenting Mistake Ever!
So many parents see the behavior they don’t like. They want to train their kids to “be good.” They’re trying to be good parents too. But they look for the bad. They find it and whine:
1. Can’t you do anything right?
2. How many times do I have to tell you to (fill it in)?
3. When are you ever going to learn?
The more they criticize, the more they’re likely to raise kids with low self-esteem. They’re surprised when their kids act insecure, sad, angry, or anxious. They want their kids to feel secure, happy, and strong. But they’re doing it the wrong way.
Our Family Experiment with Love Notes
Here’s an experiment we’re doing at our Thursday night dinners. Each member of the family, grandpa, grandma, mom, dad, 6-year-old son, and 3-year-old daughter pick a member’s name from a pretty bowl. Then they write a love note telling that person why they love them.
The 3-year old picked my name and I wrote what she said, “Grandma, I love how you read to me before nap time.” Actually, I sometimes forget. But it sure made me want to read to her in the future.
I pulled out my 6-year-old grandson’s name. I wrote, “I delight in your art work because you make such fun pictures. Guess what he did right after dinner? He lay on the living room floor and drew fun pictures. One was the cutest frog I’ve ever seen but then I’m his grandmother.
Make Your Love Notes Specific, Completely Positive, and Truthful
First, be specific because your child will know exactly which behavior he’ll want to repeat.
Second, be completely positive because negative endings like, “not like you usually do,” disappoint and discourage kids from trying to do better.
Third, be truthful because kids can spot a phony manipulative comment a mile away and won’t believe you. They’ll think, “Oh that’s just mom trying to get me to do something I don’t want to do.”
Conclusion for Teaching Your Family Love and Respect
Love Notes influence parents and children to love and respect each other. They encourage each member to repeat the good behaviors they already do. So, teach your family to “Look for the Good”. Make it a habit. It CAN easily be done!
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