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5 Ways to Practice Acceptance with Your Child

In today’s chaotic world of overscheduling alongside the pressure they experience both in and out of the classroom, kids yearn to know they are  appreciated and accepted. Mighty Mommy shares five ways you can tune in to your child and practice total acceptance no matter how busy life gets.

By
Cheryl Butler,
Episode #510
parent and child sitting at skatepark

When was the last time you felt completely amazing in your own skin? You know—that feeling where you are just on top of the world because of something you did that made a difference for yourself or, even better, others that you interact with?

I felt like that recently due to a work-related event that I was in charge of planning. The celebration took place in another state, so organizing an event remotely can be challenging. As it turned out, many people had conflicts and had to decline, so I wasn’t feeling very enthusiastic that only a small handful of people would be joining us. On top of that, we had to travel over three hours each way to this out-of-state venue which made for a very long and tiring day.

I wasn’t feeling very confident, but I carried on as if it were the biggest party of the century. It turned out to be one of the most fantastic celebrations I’ve ever attended, and I met some new folks I wouldn’t have known otherwise. The following day I was completely but happily exhausted, and my boss was so grateful and called the event a complete success! It was a wonderful feeling, and days later I’m still enjoying the afterglow.

When we stop and take the time to appreciate our current circumstances, especially noticing how our children are handling their very full lives, we can set a whole new, positive tone.

Feeling that terrific got me thinking about how good our kids must feel when they experience a moment of pure joy and acceptance. In today’s chaotic world of overscheduling alongside the pressure they experience both in and out of the classroom, kids yearn to know they are appreciated and accepted.

It’s easy to go about our busy lives and focus on getting things done rather than concentrating on the way our family is feeling while we’re running around completing our to-do lists, but when we stop and take the time to appreciate our current circumstances, especially noticing how our children are handling their very full lives, we can set a whole new, positive tone.

Mighty Mommy shares five ways you can tune in to your child and practice total acceptance no matter how busy life gets.

5 Ways to Practice Appreciation and Acceptance With Your Child

  1. Take Time to Enjoy Your Child
  2. Practice Self Care
  3. Acknowledge Where They're Coming From
  4. Let Go of Expectations
  5. Look for the Positive

Let’s explore each more closely.

1.Take Time to Enjoy Your Child

As I’ve stated many times before, one thing that all kids have in common is the need to please their parents and caregivers. By doing so, they believe they’ll receive attention and affection. For the many years I struggled with infertility, I promised myself that I’d shower my kids with unconditional love and would relish all the amazingly cute (and even annoying) kid moments that would be bestowed on me if I should be so lucky to finally become a mom.

Well, I certainly got my chance to do that, eight times over, but what I soon realized was that parenting was not just sitting and playing board games and building blocks on the floor on a rainy day at home—I forgot all about the meal preparation, mounds of laundry, whining kids, tantrums, and everything in between that also came with those sweet babies.

When we get caught up with our busy lives, it seems near impossible to actually enjoy those everyday moments that eventually become distant memories. I can still remember the very first time my oldest daughter came home on the bus from her first day of kindergarten. I was chomping at the bit thinking about how she was doing at a full day of school without any of the comforts of home. I knew deep down she would be just fine, but when she stepped off that bus, I lit up like a Christmas tree—I was so excited to see her and hear about her day. It was priceless for both of us.

While we’re not going to get that excited every day our kids come home from school, we can still enjoy the moments we have to learn about what went on in their world that day. Taking an interest in what their favorite subject is this year, learning who the new kids in their class are, having them remind us what their preferred after school snack is, and talk about the goals they’d like to meet in the upcoming year are ways we can connect and delight in their world.

I even try to do this with my college kids who live away from home. Sending regular texts, cards and e-mails to stay abreast of their new grown-up lives is important.

When we take the time to enjoy our kids at their present ages and remind them that we are genuinely interested in their lives, we show them acceptance as we let them share what’s important to them. By doing this on a regular basis, we are better equipped to be accepting of more contentious situations, like their decision not to share in the family’s religious values once they become teens, or choosing a major in college that makes no sense at all—think archaeology (been there, done that!).

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