My son made me a notebook. It consists of six pieces of construction paper held together with copious amounts of tape. (Note to self: Skip presents this Christmas and just buy son jumbo rolls of tape.) He gave it to me because he knows I like to write and immediately asked me what I would write in it.
"I will write down all the wonderful things I love about you," I told him.
This earned me kisses and hugs (Note to son: This is all I want from you for Christmas this year). And so I wrote in the notebook. I wrote down for him all the things I love about him and his character strengths as a person. When he came home from a Daddy/son adventure, I showed him the notebook and we read it together. He was all smiles.
Of course he was happy: Strength-based parenting, a parenting style where you encourage your child's positive qualities, will help them become more resilient later on in life. So by encouraging a characteristic that your child has or is developing - humor, courage or kindness, for example - you are giving them a way to cope with stress.
I would have thought that would have been fairly obvious, but maybe it isn't. So, there you go: Encourage your child's positive traits.
After reading through the notebook, my son told me that he wants to make me a new notebook that I can write about him in. And I will. I will write about the way he is becoming a little gentleman by opening doors for ladies, and the way he still squeezes my hand because I told him it was a way to tell someone you love them. I will write about the way he amazes me when he reads, and how I love seeing him being extra gentle with our retired cat. And he will learn how much he amazes me.
It will probably take more pages than the first notebook. And we will probably need more tape.
What quality are you trying to encourage in your child right now? Share with me in the comments.