Children rise to the expectation of their parents. The flipside of this statement is also true – children lower themselves to the expectation of their parents. What determines the altitude at which our children choose to live? I believe what we speak over our children and into their lives greatly affect their attitude altitude. Children believe what we speak over them – the good and the bad.
I love the part in the book and movie, The Help, where she speaks into the child’s life over and over: “You is kind, you is smart, you is important”. She is speaking not only what she sees, but also what she wants the child to believe about herself. We need to be about this as parents. When you see something positive in your child’s life, say it – don’t just think it…they can’t read your mind!
Another way to invest in a child’s self-concept is to learn what their love language(s) is and speak it. One of the toughest parts of parenting is that children don’t come with an instruction manual. We have to be students of them and of resources available in order to be successful in raising confident, positive, secure children in today’s world.
Study each child to learn what his or her specific love language is. Speaking their love language will equal love. You can attempt to show love all day long in the way you would prefer to be loved, but that won’t equal love to them if it is not their preferred love language. The five love languages are: physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, and gifts.
A resource for learning more on this subject is the book The 5 Love Languages for Children by Dr. Gary Chapman and Dr. Ross Campbell. Other resources are available, including games to determine your child’s love language. Here is a description of the book:
Children need to feel loved to best succeed. But if you and your children speak different love languages, your display of love might get lost in translation–affecting your child’s attitude, behavior, and development.
In The 5 Love Languages of Children, Dr. Gary Chapman and Dr. Ross Campbell M.D. have applied the innovative system of the 5 love languages to children. This easy-to-read resource gives practical suggestions for understanding how your child gives, receives, and interprets love.
Through real life examples, this book will help you discern your child’s love language and learn how to create a secure environment in which he or she can thrive. Discover how to successfully express your respect, affection, and commitment to your child, and notice the improvement in his or her behavior and in your relationship.
…and the greatest of these is Love.
1 Corinthians 13:13