happy-teensGot kids?

If so, find a way to do the following:

Set it up so they overhear you praising them to someone else.

Make sure the praise is something honest, sincere and linked to something around their character or potential.  If they are already excelling in one area like sports or academics, try and think of something else to focus on.

Are they kind?  Artistic?  Fun?  A good friend?  A great problem solver?  Respectful?

In the best case scenario, you are talking on the phone and they really think you don’t know they are eavesdropping.  They will think that you are being completely honest….and that when you talk about them to others you are proud and full of love for them.

And don’t fall into to the “if only” trap – where you might start with praise but continue with “if only”…

(example: “Trevor is so creative and artistic…..if only he would focus more in class”)

Their warm fuzzy feelings will fade as soon as you get to the second half of the sentence.

Kids want to know they are loved, valued and appreciated.

They want to know you see the best in them, have hope for their future and will always be a safe place for them to fall.

If you are having a really, really, REALLY tough time with your kid at the moment and they are driving you insane…..this is the best time to do this exercise.  It might be a little hard to think of your compliment(s), but I am sure you can come up with at least one.

Remind your kid and yourself that even though your relationship might be rocky at the moment,

you will always be a safe harbour for them.