father child sunset

I recently watched a webcast for social workers that talked about interviewing parents.

The presenter said it was very important to find out the parent’s mindset about their child.  How do they feel about their child?  How do they see them?  Does their child remind them of anyone (positive or negative)? The answers will give good insight into why they might be struggling in their role as parent.

The interview question that stuck with me the most was this:

“Do you have a favorite story to tell others about your child?”

Some parents lit up and quickly jumped into a particularly cute or funny story….sometimes even having difficulty picking just one story to tell.

These were the parents who had positive and strong relationships with their kids.

Other parents came up with a story that was negative – an “example” of why their child drives them crazy or makes them angry or embarrasses them.

And some parents, when asked the question, just shrugged and said, “No.”

So now I ask the question of you.

If you had to describe your child by telling one story about them, which one would come to mind?

Would this story put them in a positive or negative light? Does the story embarrass you or make you proud?

If you can only think of negative stories or none at all…ask yourself why.

Have you only been noticing the bad?

Have you been noticing them at all?

I can promise you that your child is amazing.  He or she is gifted and interesting and wonderful in their own way.

I challenge you that for one week, only see the good in your child.  Just focus on what makes them good and kind and funny.

Praise them for when they do something positive, no matter how small.  Ignore anything negative (unless it is pretty severe and requires discipline….but even in those circumstances sit down and talk with your child and find out why it made sense for them to act that way.  Then brainstorm things they could do in the future instead).

Childhood lasts for a short time.

Every day there are new chances for you to make memories together that will carry them into adulthood.

You aren’t just writing stories that you can tell others…

…you are writing stories that they will tell themselves now and when they are grown.

When your child is grown, what stories do you want them to remember about you?