How do you let your kids know you care? Today I'm sharing my favorite tips for encouraging kids. (Because we all need a reminder to be positive with our kids once in a while!)
No, I'm not going crazy. I promise. I'm just really proud of my kids, and I wanted to do something to let them know that I think they're pretty cool!
Hallmark has these awesome cards for kids. They start out the size of a regular card, but then they fold out into a huge poster. (The fact that the ones I chose are birthday cards didn't really matter to me. The messages in the cards and the posters were perfect for each of my kiddos. Lu loves Disney princesses, Boo loves Minnie Mouse, and Bear loves How to Train Your Dragon.
I found the cards at Walmart, and they have a huge selection. I found poster cards for boys and girls and cards that fit teens and younger kiddos. I got How to Train Your Dragon for my tween, Minnie Mouse for my 9-year-old, and Disney Princesses for my youngest. I love how each card had an encouraging message that was perfect for my child.
When I purchased the cards, I had no idea what an impact they would have on my kids. The next day, I caught my youngest hugging her card as she walked around the house. My oldest--who absolutely hates to have her picture taken--actually smiled for a picture with her poster. The younger girls have not put their posters up yet. They just carry them around, re-read the message from me, and play with them. It's so funny! I had no idea how happy they would be to get a special card in the mail from Mom.
Which leads me to my tips for encouraging kids.
5 Easy Tips for Encouraging Kids
#1 Tell Them!
When is the last time you did or said something to remind your kiddos that you think they are special? Sure, you probably think it often, but when is the last time you passed those happy thoughts to them?
Next time one of those thoughts crosses your mind, go find your child and tell them that you are proud of them! It's as easy as that.
#2 Surprise Them with a Letter or Card in the Mail
Everybody loves to get mail. Remember the days when you used to get actual letters? (You know what I mean . . . the envelopes that were addressed by a real person and were addressed to you--not "Current Resident". Personal notes from friends, birthday cards, love letters, etc.) Remember that excited feeling when you opened the mailbox and discovered that someone was thinking about you?
Now imagine how your kids feel when the letter is addressed to them. I loved the looks on the faces of my kiddos when they unlocked the mailbox and found three colorful, thick envelopes just for them.
Yes, my kids love their posters, but they spend a lot of time re-reading the special notes I wrote inside the cards, too. They love to be told they are doing a good job. Don't you?
You don't have to do anything fancy. My kids loved the cards, but they would love a simple letter, too.
The other cool thing about letters is that the kids have something written by you in your own handwriting. So, go ahead! Send them a card. It may not seem like a big deal now, but they can save it and reread it for years to come. I still treasure a letter written to me by my grandmother years ago.
#3 Leave Them a Note
All you need for this idea is a pen and a pack of post-it notes, note cards, or even just a scrap of paper. Simply write a quick note and tuck it somewhere they can find it easily. (On their mirror, in their lunch box, on their pillow, etc) Ideas for quick messages might be:
- Have a great day
- Thank you
- Good luck today
- I love you
- I'm proud of you
- Do something great today
I've even made some that I have laminated to use over and over. (I put these in the kids' lunch boxes.)
#4 Take Them on a Special Date
I find that offering a date with Mom or Dad is a fantastic reward for kids. They love getting one-on-one time with Mom and Dad, and the date doesn't even have to be anything fancy. My kids love to go to Walmart with Dad, buy a $1 treat, and then head to the park to play for a little while.
#5 Spend Time with Them
This one is most difficult for me, but it's probably the most important. My kids are so good at entertaining themselves that it's easy for me to get them started on something and then disappear to work on my own thing. I need to stop doing that, and I'm just going to guess that maybe you do, too. (I can't possibly be the only non-perfect parent, right?)
My hubby is really good at this. I can't tell you how often I hear, "Mommy, Mommy! Come and take a picture!" When I get there, I inevitably find that they have built something cool with Daddy. Look at Lu's face. She is so proud!
After reading these tips, I hope you'll do more than just pin them. Don't forget to put them into action! (That's really mostly a reminder for me!)
Thanks for stopping by today. While you're here, I hope you'll check out some of my other ideas for motivating kids. (Images below are linked.)