Therapeutic Tuesday – Words of Affirmation

Love languages.

Learning to speak them is hard. I am eager for the day that it seems easier because right now, having to think so consciously to make sure I am on the right track is utterly exhausting.

So far, I have worked on the languages of gifts, quality time and this week – Words of Affirmation.

This one has been easier than the others. Saying to Queen Bee that “I am so proud of the note your teacher gave me about your day.” Or to Electric Lady “Your eyes just sparkle when you smile!” are easy to come by. I enjoy saying them, though sometimes feel awkward in choosing where to step in. I know praising every thing they do can be dangerous and water down the impact of the “good” stuff. Should I praise Elasto-Boy for every new drawing he makes? Or should I focus more on something that doesn’t come so naturally to him?

I also found I had to be careful not to interject with a bad case of the “But’s”. For example, Mr. Hockey did really well on his math work but didn’t study for his spelling so had terrible marks in that area. I literally had to bite my tongue when I gave him praise for the Math. What I wanted to say was “Your math test came back awesome but I really am disappointed that you didn’t study for spelling. I told you it would not do you very well.”

What I chose to say (after biting my tongue) was “I am so happy with your math test! Awesome work!”

I left the spelling test out of the equation at that time and brought it up later, when doing homework, that maybe studying would be a better idea this week. He beamed at the praise about the math and was receptive to the advice on spelling. What more could a Mom ask for?

I know this one is jumpbled… but I am still wading through the fine details of being an affirming parent to my kids. It really is easy to lose site of the positives and constantly correct the undesirable behaviours.

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