Parents: How to Use THIS Valentine’s Day Idea to Praise the Character of Kids

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I saw a few great photos circulating the internet a few weeks back showing how parents can put hearts on their children’s door with cute of funny reasons why they love their kids. I decided to take inspiration from that idea and put hearts on my children’s doors (as you can see throughout this blog post) to recognize their character and praise the actions they take that help others.

I feel like the Valentine’s Day fairy. Every night, when they are asleep, I quietly walk to their room and hang a new heart up on their door. They see it as soon as they wake up in the morning!

It’s important that these hearts are not just filled with hollow phrases. Empty praise doesn’t do much and saying “good job” is often a forgotten generic compliment. In fact, some studies tell us that praise can actually backfire and cause problems when it’s inflated, directed to how “smart” or “pretty” a child is, or, as you can imagine, obviously fake.

The key here is to be authentic.

 

Praise effort, progress, character, uniqueness and who the child you truly see in front of you. My children are quite different from one another– so I’ve been highlighting different strengths and parts of their character on their doors. They both LOVE it. I love it because it gives me an opportunity to underscore our family values while showing my kids how much I love and appreciate their unique qualities.

Of course, if you haven’t done something like this, who says you can’t start now? And if you have done some version of putting reasons why you admire your children up on their doors, who says you have to stop now? Ready for tonight!

Happy Valentine’s day to you! May you get a hug, a call, or a kind word from someone in your life. But if you don’t, could I do it here? You are valuable. You are gifted in your own unique way. We need you in this world and we are grateful to have you. Thank you for visiting and come visit again soon!

Warmest regards,

Dr. Robyn

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