Today I was dropping off Malibu Camp permission forms for my twins at the Young Life House in West Linn, and a fellow substitute teacher from Athey Creek stopped by at the same time.

She told me that she met one of my twins last week at a Young Life meeting.

IMG_9689She said to me: “I thought your son was a former student of mine, and after he said he was not, he went on to introduce himself to me. He reached out his hand to shake mine and said, ‘My name’s Micki, nice to meet you.”

Cornelia, I was so impressed with how friendly your son was, how outgoing, how he looked me in the eyes and introduced himself to me.”

She told me she is a Young Life leader who will be attending the Malibu camp where my twins will be in July.

When I saw my son later in the evening, I told him about my conversation with this lady, and he remembered meeting her.

“The lady I saw today at the Young Life house said you were really nice and very friendly and warm. She said, that you were a great kid.”

My son lit up when I told him what this lady said about him.

IMG_6058Similarly, one of my 12-year-old son, Augustin’s, best friends, Aleks, has the cutest younger brother named Lachlan who’s 5, and he just adores my son and my son adores him. Aleks’ mom Visjna tells me how much her son likes my Gus.

“Lachlan loves it when we have Augustin over. Augustin always pays attention to Lachlan and includes him when the older boys are hanging out,” she says to me.

Then the other day, Visjna was picking up her son at our house with the younger brother in tow.

And Lachlan says to me, “Augustin’s my best friend.”

This mother’s heart is smiling.

Later I reminded Augustin what five-year-old Lachlan had said about him.

I said to my son: “Augustin, that is pretty sweet, that Lachlan calls you his best friend, and he’s only five. That shows how nice you are to him. You’re a neat person.”

He lit up. Then he told me that every time he gets in their car and Lachlan is in there as well, Lachlan says to him: “Augustin, you’re my best friend.”

Sometimes it feels like I am scolding my kids one too many times during the day, so, when I can, I try to find positive things to say to my kids. Ways to affirm them, ways to compliment them.

Parenting Thought for today: Find reasons to build up your children. Tell them how amazing they are and tell them when others say nice things about them. Compliment them. Validate them.

[Day 18 in A Thought a Day on Parenting, for 31 Days: Feed Them]





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