Whether we are 9 or 39, we all want to be known and seen. If we are having a bad day, a smile and a few kind words can make all the difference. As moms, we’ve been there. We are used to the world being full of judgment and criticism, whether it’s on social media or real life. And unfortunately, the harshness begins early.
In the past week, I’ve had conversations with 2 different parents about the hard realities of loving our kids through criticism and rejection. Sometimes it’s because they are different, sometimes they are just the brunt of someone else’s hurt. But whatever the cause, it breaks our parental hearts in two. That’s why I’m teaching my kids to be noticers.
I want my kids (and myself) to wake up each day and think about how they can create beauty. Who can they notice today and encourage with a smile, a kind word, a hug? Maybe it’s as simple as, “Wow! Cool shoes!” or an invitation to the lunch table. Maybe it’s learning to say “How’s your day?” in Spanish or sign language. It doesn’t have to be big to have a huge impact.
My own daughter was an encourager this week when she slipped a card into my purse on our homeschool community’s last day. She must have noticed I was stressed with getting everything ready, so she wrote me a note thanking me for being her mom and her teacher. When I opened it at lunch, it brought tears to my eyes and made my day so much brighter!
Chances are, at some point our kids will be hurt by someone they think is their friend. They will be treated unfairly, judged harshly, misunderstood. Our hearts will break and we will want to fix it, or hurt someone. We can’t stop that. BUT, we can teach our kids to be those who buck the trend. We can teach them to be noticers and encouragers. We can lead them in creating beauty and joy. And it WILL make a difference.