The magic of appreciation
Sometimes you can hear parents say things like, "Well, who are they? We work so hard to feed them, house them, they should thank us!” Does it sound familiar to you?
My two loving daughters were in the kitchen for hours. Both of them refused to let me and my husband enter while they were busy at work. It sounded like they were cooking up a storm. Finally they came out with a tray of the loveliest cup cakes that I have ever seen. Chocolate topped with colourful green and blue letters arranged into to reflect: “Pops ‘n Mops we love you from us”.
We were very happy and deeply touched. The cakes were very delicious. Without hesitation I said, “I am so blessed, thank you girls for putting so much effort into baking these lovely and delicious cupcakes, I love you too!” I am quite sure they felt appreciated for the effort they both put in. The cakes were bonus, the real value lies with the love we felt.
The real joy was seeing them so close, enjoying, discussing and cooperating in the kitchen. I believe this is what parents want to see and experience — genuine bonding between their offsprings and of course an unfettered expression of the love they have for us.
I am grateful everyday. For us to have this loving relationship is like watering the plant everyday. We have learnt to build relationships with hugs and positive communications. I catch them doing something right and I am quick to praise them. By acknowledging them we bring out the potential of their goodness and empower them. We show that we appreciate them not by their academic achievements but the little things they do everyday.
A few years back I was unconsciously looking out for the ‘wrong’ things and focusing on those types of behaviour. There was no positive acknowledgment and a definite lack of appreciation on my part. I had to attend many seminars and radio talks on parenting along with self development courses to understand the importance of very simple things like saying, “I love you”; “Thank you, I am so blessed.”
Sometimes you can hear parents say things like, “Well, who are they? We work so hard to feed them, house them, they should thank us!” Does it sound familiar to you? I don’t know about you, but I was one of those who needed to be educated to love my children unconditionally.
How did I do it? I learnt to love myself. I lost my old self and forgot the old conditioning.
I was frustrated with life because I tried so hard to fix my children instead of fixing myself. I worried too much about them. I learnt to let go. I know it is hard but when you let go, they want to come to you. When you hang on to them they cannot breath and feel suffocated.
You may think, “I don’t want them to make mistakes”. Well the truth is, mistakes help us learn. Instead of sending them to courses, I attended courses and changed myself. Because I love them, I have learnt to have a life and it has just begun. They are given enough space to make decisions and learn other life skills. I love myself and therefore I have more love to give them now that I am fulfilled. My job is to guide them, coach them and love them not dominate and shape them in my image and expectations.
Dolly Yeo is the chief coach and founder of Mindset Coaching which specialises in life coaching. She is a Results Certified Coach (Australia) and a member of the International Coach Federation, Singapore. She is also an Active Parenting Certified Leader as well as a Certified Parent Facilitator for Parenting Workshops. You can find out more about Dolly Yeo and Mindset Coaching at http://www.mindset-coaching.com or to subscribe to her free newsletters.