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I am not sure where my brother got this, but it seems like it was from some sort of seminar.
My brother emailed this to our family and I really loved all of the advice in it.
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- Children value themselves to the degree they feel valued.
- Of course we love our children and we assume they know that. But there is a difference between being loved and feeling loved.
- You are a psychological mirror that your children use to build their identity.
- Be aware of giving technology more attention than we give our children. Do our eyes light up when our children enter a room? They should!
- Sometimes as mothers we habitually attend to what is missing or what is wrong instead of building up the good stuff. She told a story of when she got so frustrated with her son for forgetting things and missing the bus. She dropped him off at the school with all the weight of her lecture weighing him down. As she was about to take off, her younger son rolled down the window and called out to his older brother: "I love you!!" Oh the way she told that story made me so motivated to ease up a little on those lectures!
- Kids are such a work in progress...we should put ourselves in their shoes.
- Find the goodness in each child and build that up. Reinforce the good parts of the day and how they made you feel. We all need positive feedback, right?
- Compliment kids in front of the other kids...pray about how grateful you are for them with them at your side.
- Undivided attention with each child is so important!
- We are all encumbered and frazzled by so many things. We need to be sure that we acknowledge that those sweet children are so much more important than a phone call, email, blog post, etc.
- Show love through service. The mundane (helping them clean a room, a sincere compliment) can become monumental.
She ended with this quote that I adore from Elder Jeffrey Holland years ago:
"Mothers, cherish that role that is so uniquely yours and for which heaven itself sends angels to watch over you and your little ones. Yours is the work of salvation, and therefore you will be magnified, compensated, made more than you are, better than you are, and better than you have ever been. And if, for whatever reason, you are making this courageous effort alone, without your husband at your side, then our prayers will be all the greater for you. Know that in faith things will be made right in spite of you, or more correctly, because of you. We thank all of you, and tell you there is nothing more important in this world than participating so directly in the work and glory of God."
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I love love love that quote by Elder Holland.
I sincerely hope that I am already doing most of these things, but I definitely plan to work on all of these and make sure I am doing my part to help Aaron grow up not only feeling loved, but also KNOWING he is loved.
Hug your kids.
TELL them you love them.
Aaron hears those words many many many times a day. THAT I do know.