Sunday, October 3, 2010


We all know the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words." I actually used that very phrase in a comment I posted on my sister's blog a couple of minutes ago. Maybe that's why it's still fresh in my mind. At any rate, I think the same cliche can be applied to actions: An action is worth a thousand words.

Lately I have been trying to be a "positive" mom. I want to encourage my children and help them to be confident people.I decided to make a point of saying ten positive things a day to each of my children. In the process, I made a discovery!

Certain things are nice things to say to my children, but aren't necessarily confidence builders. For example, "I like your shirt," is nice but doesn't say something positive about my child. "Wow, you really look great in that shirt," is a little better, but it still doesn't say much about my child.

What I discovered in my attempts at being positive is that actions are better than words. When I take the time to do something nice for my children, whether it is to read them a story, or fix a meal, I am saying "You are worth my time and effort. I could be doing a hundred other things right now, but I am choosing to spend this moment with you."

Sometimes it is hard to be available for our children. The other day I was finally getting a chance to work on a project, and Emily called me in to another room to take a picture of the building she and Sam were making. My first inclination was to say, "wait." Instead, I took a moment to take this picture:

Then I was able to post the picture on the computer for their Dad to see, and that meant so much to him! Positive actions have a ripple effect! It is so easy to say "nice" things. I'm not saying we should never praise our children; what I am saying is that our actions, as always, need to underscore our words.

At times the burden of always being available to our children can be overwhelming. Have you ever felt the need to hide in a closet, a bathroom, a car, anywhere for fifteen minutes, just to be alone!!?? I know I can't be the only mom that has felt that way! There's nothing wrong with taking a little break, but being a parent does require sacrifice. Being present 24/7 to our children is a blessing AND a sacrifice.

I often think that in just a few short years, I will want to give anything simply for an opportunity to serve my oldest children. They will be gone and living on their own, and while I will definitely still be able to serve them and help them, it won't be the same. Will they still be calling me to see the buildings they make, or calling from the bathroom to "get me a towel, please!" Tending to these little needs cheerfully is what tells my kids, "You're worth it," and "I love you!"