Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Words Kids Need to Hear - Chapter 3

I treasure you

Kids long to feel special. We can create that feeling by being deliberate and repetative with our "I treasure you" message. It is not about quantifying the child by grades or abilities, but letting her know that she is special because she is - and reinforcing that message often. It is not about congratulations or shallow praise for a job well done, but a message of "If all the girls in the world lined up, I would choose you."

"The treasure message... communicates a high sense of worth - and children who feel worthy are more likely to respect the worth of other people."

Strategies for putting the I treasure you to use:

* Keep it simple. More explanation = less comprehension for a kid. Keep the message real, authentic, sincere and simple and offer it on an ongoing basis and the child will internalize it and believe it about herself.

* Time and Attention - these are time tested ways to fuss over a child without spoiling her. Giving her time - going to a dance recital, a ballgame, a preschool show - and attention - taking the opportunity to really celebrate her success - shows that you are paying attention to her life. An example that the book explains and that our family is going to adopt is the celebration candle.

* Making it Personal - creating personal, shared memories with her signals how much she is worth. Taking personal time with each kid also allows opportunities to say the words she needs to hear - or listen to the words she needs to speak.


Marissa 11:23 PM  

Tell me about the celebration candle.

i am not 10:33 AM  

We actually did this last night and it was fantastic!

Basically the point is to celebrate the child and the little opportunities to do so (when they're little like Naomi it is stuff like losing a tooth, maybe staying dry over night, sleeping in a big girl bed - whatever you decide is worth celebrating). In a simple but intentional and meaningful way - showing I treasure you.

We chose to celebrate the fact that Nora raised the most money in her school - for the 2nd year in a row - for Jumprope For Heart.

I put out REAL plates and cloth napkins, made a family dinner and then we ate by the light of one candle. After praying, we toasted Nora and during dinner we discussed the importance of raising money for the American Heart Association. After dinner was done, Nora was allowed to blow out the candle.

I am planning - over the course of time - to buy special dishes for our celebration dinners. I'd like to buy some eclectic china from thrift stores - like random pieces - that are used only for these dinners. Perhaps the person being celebrated will get a special plate... In my head I have special dishes, special tablecoth, napkins, candles, etc. that are used only for our celebration dinners. We can't do that right now, so we made it special by eating on real dishes instead of plastic:)

i am not 10:33 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mommy Brain 8:37 PM  

Love the new look...and the thoughts!

Kristy 1:42 PM  

I really enjoyed reading this. You have put on my heart the importance of the small stuff for my children. Thank you!

I love the new look of your blog,it makes me take a deep breath and smile ;)

Brenda B 7:14 AM  

Thanks for explaining the celebration candle I was going to ask. That's awesome! I need to get this book. I'll also have to view your blog on my computer (instead of my blackberry) so I can check out your new look!

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