ON MOTHERHOOD: If you are looking for a way to enter the heart of your child, or enrich your relationship with your child... here is an idea that has worked for us.
Six years ago, when my daughter was five (she read at age four), I started a notebook for her. Most nights, after she had fallen asleep, I would quietly slip into her bedroom and write in that special notebook.
I would write words of love, appreciation and approval. Such as... "Great job reading that hard chapter book!" OR "You sure looked cute in pigtails today!" OR "I was so proud of you when you shared your candy with your brother! You're awesome!" OR "I love you!"
Our relationship changed for the better. I changed for the better. She started to write me notes and draw pictures in the notebook. From her I would hear, "Good job cooking dinner tonight! It was yummy!" OR "Thank you for playing games with me.", etc...
Funny thing... I was always on the look out for the positive so that I would have some new material for the notebook. I spent less time focusing on her faults, struggles or disobedience and MORE time focusing on the positive character traits, and good deeds or decisions.
Both of us felt more loved, cherished, appreciated and accepted for being who we are!
We've fallen out of that habit recently. I noticed last week that I was falling into an old trap of criticism and missed our notebook. It's great to say those same things out loud, but let's face it, often it doesn't happen. I love the notebook because in the quiet time of the evening, I would have time to reflect on the day and remember to "say" what she needs to hear. Time to start another notebook!