Last week I shared a little about a parenting failure I had. And I shared that I had decided to start encouraging my kids with 3 words that would describe some of the gifts God had created them with.
So every morning when I take Elijah to school I have been reminding him that he is kind, compassionate and brave and that God made him special that way and he should keep his eyes open for opportunities to use those gifts to be a blessing to others.
As parents we hope that the wisdom we are trying to impart to our kids sticks. Sometimes it feels like it goes in one ear and out the other…but in this case the simple things I was telling Elijah were making a difference.
In addition to these truths, I want to make sure that they know that regardless of how they behave they are loved no matter what. It is a message they need to hear, over and over again.
Yesterday Elijah was being a little naughty. He was supposed to write 100 words for his homework and the 100th day of school coming up here in a few days. He had been playing for the majority of the day so I thought a short break to write 10 more words would be a good idea.
He wasn’t thrilled.
He started squirming in his seat. He wrote with poor handwriting and pretended not to know how to spell a few words I knew he had down. So I took it away from him and sent him upstairs. I was angry yes, but clearly we weren’t getting anywhere.
A little while later he came down to apologize to me. He said “I know you are angry at me…” I grabbed his hand and reminded him that he was kind, compassionate and brave. I told him that I know how good he does at school and I felt like he wasn’t trying very hard on his homework. Yes it made me angry but it doesn’t change how much I loved him. I asked him to forgive me for being angry and then he went to finish his words.
We finished the last 40 words in no time. And I could tell he was proud of the work he did. This scenario could have played out so much differently, my response can make all the difference and I am seeing just how true that is recently.
Today started like it has the past week, we talked about Gabriel’s 3 words on the way to the middle school and then I gave my encouragement speech to Elijah as he left the car. What a wonderful way to send then off to their teachers, head held high with 3 truths of who they are in God.
When I went to pick him up from school he was a little late coming out. He asked me if I knew why he took so long…no buddy, what happened?
I expected something negative, but then he said this.
“I held the door for all of the 1st and 2nd grade classes mom, you know why? Because I am kind, compassionate and brave.”
Yes you are son, yes you are.
He was using those truths, that in less than a week he has embedded into his heart, to be a blessing to someone else.
God is moving in that boy and I am blessed to have a first hand view of it.
What 3 words might make a mighty difference in the lives of your kids? Look I am NO expert at parenting. I could write a book on all the mistakes you want to avoid with your kids because I have pretty much made them all. But this 3 words idea has already made an amazing impact on my kids and on me. So maybe it is worth a try?!