Teach them their worth
Long before I had kids, someone said something to me that really stuck. I praised her for how social and well-mannered her toddler was… And she thanked me. But not in the way that you normally respond to a compliment. She thanked me for not just saying her little one was cute. Candidly it’s been so long that I not only cannot remember who said this, nor can I remember if she had a little girl or a little boy. And it doesn’t matter. (Although her kiddo was really cute too, for what it’s worth.)
But her words made an impression. How often do we focus on how cute, how and some, how beautiful our children are? And at what age do they start to think this is the most important thing to us? Probably much earlier than we think.
So, let’s start changing this. Sure, telling someone they are gorgeous can boost their day. But, tell them from a young age how good they are at things that matter. How great their focus is. How well they work on a project. How creatively they solve problems. How wonderful it is that they don’t let anyone sit alone at lunch. How they make lots of great decisions.
I’m impressed with lots of children’s shows today that really focus on the importance of character. I particularly love Thomas & Friends’ focus on being useful and contributing to society.
So tell them occasionally how beautiful they are, but spend more effort praising them for ingenuity, for creativity, for leadership. Let them know they can change the world… And then watch as they make waves and do amazing things.