I once read that children notice how their parents react to them when they appear.
Do we smile and seem happy to see them?
Do we even bother to look up from what we are doing?
Do we greet them with criticism or pleasantries?
Do we start giving orders without even greeting them?
|Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash|
At the time of reading that article my daughter was about ten years old. When I first observed my own behavior in this situation, I was humiliated to find that I was so immersed in my own business that most times I did not even look up to speak to my daughter when she appeared at the door to my home office. I was ashamed to notice this. Crushed that I did so little to show her how important she was in my life. She was my “everything” and yet my actions did not reflect how I felt.
That behavior had to stop. I had to take time – every time – to show her that she was important to me. Even if all I could do was look up and make eye contact, that would be a start.
As I started to change my reaction to her, I noticed that her behavior changed toward me. She wasn’t quite so angry or hostile anymore. Occasionally she smiled. Eventually her conversation became more personal, revealing details about her day that she hadn’t shared before.
It changed everything when I started to greet her in the way that showed how I felt – that she was important to me.
|Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash|
This is a wonderful technique to repair romantic relationships too.
It’s easy to forget (but try to remember) that adult children need love and encouragement just as much as the young children. If you have children who are grown, they are undoubtedly fighting battles every day to build their lives. Surely, they could use a comforting glance, supportive words or a loving kiss on the forehead from their folks. Don’t doubt it. Just do it!
|Photo by Artem Maltsev on Unsplash|
Even if you are not their parent or guardian, the reaction you make toward children still affects them.
Recently I read an article that children’s self-esteem is positively affected when an adult who is not their parent shows them approval and support. So even if you are dealing with a child who is not your own, your approving smile and supportive comments can still make a huge difference in that child’s life! Often, it makes ALL the difference!