The pastor at church this week was talking about our value in God’s eyes, and said something about God’s regard for us telling is we’re awesome every day. Then he said something like “How long is it since someone told you you’re awesome?” (my paraphrase).
My response (to myself) was “Not that long, actually!” I couldn’t remember the precise instance, but I’m absolutely sure that in the past day or so Sue or one of the girls would have told me something very close to that.
That’s because it’s just the pattern in our family – we give one another affirmation, encouragement and praise constantly. We’re always telling one another that we’re smart, beautiful, talented and fun to be with. And if someone doesn’t come through with the praise when we feel we deserve it, we’re not shy about asking for it!
It seems to work for us. I don’t think we’re particularly arrogant, although we’re confident. I think people sometimes avoid praising their children because they worry that the kids will get a ‘swollen head’ and be impossible to be around. But my observations lead me to think that arrogance is much more often a result of insecurity than of security.
I think that particularly as young women, our daughters are better protected against jerks and manipulators. They’re not subject to flattery because they’ve heard about their good qualities before (and more sincerely), and they have a healthy concept of their own value, so they don’t put up with any crap.
How about it – how often do you praise the ones you love, and focus on their good qualities? It’s really not that hard… and it’s actually really nice to be able to say “Not that long” when someone wants to know how long it is since you’ve been affirmed.