If you’ve been a parent for any amount of time, you know that getting out of the house on time is equivalent to escaping from a straight jacket while a toddler throws toys at your face.
A few weeks ago, we were having one of those mornings. I don’t even remember where we needed to be, but the morning was not going well. Everyone was on edge. I was all packed up and ready to leave the house, but Miss A. was doddling and didn’t want to put her shoes on. I had asked her to put them on several times, but she was just standing by the door, pouting. She very slowly (and reluctantly) started putting on her shoes.
Now, when our mornings start out this way it is never a good sign. Usually it leaves me feeling frazzled and stressed and not a pleasant person to be around.
Usually I would have repeatedly yelled something along the lines of “Hurry up!! We’re going to be late!!”.
But I didn’t.
I stopped myself and I got down to my daughter’s level and said “You’re making a wise choice right now by putting your shoes on even when you don’t feel like it. That means you’re growing up! I’m so proud of you!”.
Her face instantly lit up, and a smile poked it’s way out of the corner of her mouth. In that moment she felt validated, and loved, despite her grumpy attitude. She then hurriedly finished putting her shoes on and ran out the door.
Wow! “That was too easy!” I thought.
I could have chosen to yell at her to get out the door, which would have led to more tears and frustration. Instead, I took a moment to recognize that she was making a wise choice (even though it wasn’t as quickly as I had hoped for). I took the time to get down to her level and give her words of affirmation, instead of berating her for moving so slowly.
I would like to say that since that day our mornings have been glorious, and everyone is out of the house on time, with a smile on their face. But that’s not real life. Real life is messy. Real life is filled with unexpected obstacles. What I learned in that moment is to look past those obstacles, and frustrations. I learned to look for opportunity to speak life into my family, instead of tearing them down with my words.
Speak words of affirmation.
My little Miss A. has taught me so much about speaking words of affirmation over people. She never passes up a moment to encourage someone when they are feeling down, or having a hard time. She is such a little ray of sunshine in my life, and everyone around her. I am so thankful to be her momma!
I encourage you to seek out opportunities to speak life over those around you. When you’re in the heat of the moment, and things are not going your way, I encourage you to stop and look around. Look for one thing you are grateful for, and speak it out. Our words have so much power. Use that power wisely.
If you want to learn more about speaking words of affirmation over your kids, and find out how you can make your child feel loved, check out this book!