“Plan” an impromptu moment with your child.
Look your son in the eye and smile.
Take your daughter into an embrace.
When he asks, “What?” don’t shrug it off and say, “Nothing.”
When she whines, “Mommmm!” don’t just stroke her hair and walk away.
Tell him you’re proud of him and explain why.
Point out why her character or her deeds impress you.
And then stop.
You’ll want to throw in the “despites” and “but sometimes…” Please don’t do that. They hear those kinds of things all the time.
In the moment, when you’re feeling it, get your words out. The kind ones. And watch how they react.
You’ll be glad you were so bold, but that you held back at the right time.
Your kids need those feel-good moments and they’ll store the words in their head-banks.
Over time, the compounded interest will eventually turn them into “richer” individuals.
Now, I’m not saying you should offer only praise. They need to know when they mess up. because they must learn how to fix it, all by themselves. But it’s important for them to know that when they make mistakes, they are not bad people; they are human, but they are not helpless.
Help them build their self-esteem and let them learn how to be self-reliant. Those are the two most important gifts you can give your children.
Give generously and give often.