So, I started doing a parenting devotional on YouVersion. It was a short one - only 5 days long - but I got one of the best ideas from it!! I'm very confident in my parenting abilities and I don't often have those "I'm a terrible parent moments", but because this is a trick that I've never tried before and it had such quick results, I wanted to share.
I love my kids to pieces. Like, I would walk through fire for them. But, like every parent out there, sometimes I get overwhelmed, short tempered, etc. It's not always fair and not always warranted, but it is what it is. That's just the reality of my life - I know that all parents can relate to this...
Anyhow, one of the things it said to do was to write your kids a letter. Just tell them 5 good things that you've noticed about them. So, Sunday night, I sat down and wrote a letter to each of my boys. I gave them to them yesterday morning as they were getting ready for school.
The immediate response from my boys was amazing! They were both being all shy and blushy (like boys will get when they're embarrassed, whether good embarrassed or bad embarrassed) and came up right away to hug me and say thank you. Both boys had the letters set out in their bedrooms all day long. When I got home from work tonight, I noticed one on the kitchen table and the other on a pillow. Obviously, they were reading them again today! Josh even thanked me (again) for the letter as I was telling him goodnight. He said that the letter really made him want to get his grades up even higher (we've had a rough transition into middle school but he's really been trying and that was one of the things I pointed out) and that he really appreciates being noticed.
I'm trying not to dwell on the fact that that could be interpreted as he doesn't feel noticed on a regular basis - I'm choosing to hear him say that because this isn't a way I typically give him props, it's a good kind of different :)
I understand the power of positive reinforcement and use it on a consistent basis, but this was positive reinforcement in a different way than how I usually present it and I was so impressed with the way my boys responded. I don't want the novelty to wear off - the way it sometimes can - so I think this is something I'll save for every once in a while and not make into an every day thing. Try to keep it extra special, ya know?