Few things can lift my spirits more than a word or two of praise about my children. It doesn’t have to be much, merely a passing comment that my kids are polite can make my day.
Why can a few pleasant words mean so much? My life, like many parents, is lived in fast-paced goldfish bowl dictated by the school run.
I am constantly busy looking after little ones. The few short hours the kids are at school are easily filled with housework or freelance work. It’s easy to make a mental note of something nice a child has done or said and then forget to tell the parents because my head is full of shopping lists, birthday party invites, insurance policies that need renewing, deadlines and the other detritus of modern life. Added to that, I’m Also very focused on my own offspring so want to praise them or set them straight when they’ve done something wrong.
Knowing how busy and pre-occupied most of us parents are, it means a huge amount when someone takes the time to say something nice about my kids. It really doesn’t have to be much. Just to hear they have been polite or played nicely with a child they don’t know very well.
Praise of this kind must also be great for mums and dads as it’s a sign we’re getting something right. I’m sure many of us share the concern, so eloquently made by Philip Larkin in that poem, that we may be accidentally messing up our kids. Having someone tell you that your kid has been nice or kind or angelic provides just a little reassurance that you can’t be doing that badly.
Yes, I’ll admit it, this post was inspired by a comment someone’s made to me the other day about Izzy, my youngest daughter. It just made me stop and reflect on the other times people had been nice about my kids and how much it meant.
That isn’t, by the way, me trying to claim that I lead some perfect, airbrushed life. My kids fall out with each other, loose their temper and forget their manners as much as anybody else’s. If they do get praised by other people, it’s simple a pleasant, positive sign and one even they pick up on and react positively to.
I have made a decision to praise other people’s kids more. It’s something I feel I should make a greater effort to do. If it can make such a difference to me, maybe a few pleasant words will lift another mum or dad’s spirits. My goodness, don’t we all need to hear a few nice words from time to time?
Can a few choice words about your kids brighten your day? What’s the nicest thing anybody has said about your offspring? Leave a comment below and hopefully we can all brighten up each other’s day.