So often when we get with our spouses or partners or friends or, well, another parent in our communities and networks, we are quick to share the negative perspective of our lives with our children. No matter how old our children are, if they're in ear-shot, they have heard our words. Our words matter. The venting that we need to do when we're frustrated and worn out not withstanding.
How might you affect your child in a positive way by letting her/him over hear you saying good things about her/him? (This is different from bragging or showing him/her off to others. This is genuine, affirmation-type praise and acknowledgement of behaviors, skills, and overall personality.)
I would like to challenge each of you to intentionally saying ONLY positive things about your child to others for the next two days. Yes, these should be things that are true--things that are recent. Talk normally as you would and allow your child to over hear little bits of the conversation. Pay attention to how our child responds afterwards. Take note of how you feel--after saying these things. After these first two days, give yourself another two days. If you think you're up to it, continue for the rest of the week. I'll check back in with you to see how things went.
I am taking on this challenge and will share with you how things went in my home with my children. My guess is that things will improve--I hope I'm right!