Tagged with "children"
18 May
2017
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How to Not Take a Compliment

Ruth Lindsey compliment quote

It seems I have at least one child who hasn’t a clue on how to take a compliment. I was surrounded by 6th graders at a presentation and heard eight different children qualify compliments they were given. A simple, “You’re painting was lovely,” was met with “Thanks, but it’s trash.” Or “I didn’t work hard enough.” Or “There are better ones.” Not one of the eight children replied with a simple thank you. Even my son replied back to a classmate, “Thanks, but I should have taken more time.”

The word but is a troublemaker. I’m leery of the word in conversations. It’s a disjunctive conjunctive. If you tell me something and throw a but in, you’ve negated whatever came before the but. It’s possible my son should have taken more time on his painting or worked slower, but it still fulfilled the project goal and was insightful. See what I did there? The part before the but doesn’t matter. What matters in that sentence is that the work was visually pleasing.

I don’t notice our younger children receiving compliments with a dig at themselves. Possibly it’s the tween/teen age bracket that struggles with believing others see good in them and their work. I’m more attuned to what and how tweens/teens say or don’t say after a grief-filled March. I remember those moments of feeling worthless as a teen and know to an extent that those emotions are normal. It hurt my heart to hear eight students negate a compliment. It’s hard to say if they were embarrassed by kindness or believed what they said. I wanted to take each one by the shoulders and remind him/her that there’s always room for improvement, but it’s OK to see good in yourself and even better when someone else makes a point to compliment you.

It’s quite possible my son can’t take a compliment because I can’t either. I’m guilty of not being able to stop myself at thank you. I’ll qualify it with a but. I’m working on biting my tongue and accepting at face value kind words someone says about me or something I’ve done.

It doesn’t make you cocky or full of yourself to accept a compliment without also taking away from your efforts. It’s even wonderful to receive a compliment with a thank you and some positive words of your own for yourself. “Thank you. I worked hard on this.” Or “Thank you. This is my favorite project.” Or “Thank you. It turned out really well.”

I want to raise people who can see the good in themselves, their work and skills, and allow kind words to simply lift them, if only for a minute. We’ll start with banishing the qualifying but at our house.

 


 
Big Push to Finish School Year
By     |    May 4, 2017
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Big Push to Finish School Year

The month of May is one of my favorite and least favorite months. Summer is right around the corner and the weather is improving. There are 22 days of school remaining and 50 days until we enjoy another much-anticipated epic vacation. But May is also the month when everyone has everything on every day…all month long. It’s inevitable with four children that our evenings will be full of recitals, concerts, track meets and practices. It’s never one thing at a... [Read More]

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For the Love of Humanities
By     |    Apr 27, 2017
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For the Love of Humanities

It was evident early in our parenting journey that our children had an affinity toward sports. They enjoyed playing anything we exposed them to and watching sports was a family activity we rallied around. As a former sports reporter, having children who enjoyed something I loved was an easy way to connect. Early on we decided, as parents, that our children would be exposed to a wide array of experiences. We didn’t want their childhood to solely revolve around fields... [Read More]

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Read Between the Lines
By     |    Apr 17, 2017
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Read Between the Lines

I sat at my aunt’s kitchen table surrounded by various members of my extended family attempting to write my grandpa’s obituary. I started with the bookend dates of his 88 years of life and filled in the years he served in the U.S. Navy and the decades he worked. There’s his wedding and number of children. There are the countless organizations he belonged to giving a glimpse at what he believed was important. I’m rarely at a loss for words... [Read More]

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That Time I Danced in a Competition
By     |    Apr 11, 2017
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That Time I Danced in a Competition

I collapsed under friendly peer pressure and danced in a Spotlight Dance Cup Regional competition last weekend…on a stage…with an audience and judges. Gulp. It all started last summer when I took an adult ballet class to better understand my daughter and her passion for dance. I heard rumors that our studio director wanted to do a moms and dads dance for this season. Not happening. I enjoyed class but was not going on stage. I repeat, I was not... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Badlands National Park
By     |    Apr 3, 2017
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Take a Trip: Badlands National Park

We visited Badlands National Park for the fourth time this weekend. After several friends mentioned not knowing about the park, which is four hours from our home, I thought it needed some love. Our first three visits to the park were in the summer months when it’s crowded and hot. A spring visit was much more to our liking. There were no crowds. We didn’t have to circle around for a parking spot at the visitor center or any trailhead.... [Read More]

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Joy in a Staycation
By     |    Mar 27, 2017
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Joy in a Staycation

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Genius Hour and Growing Lifelong Learners
By     |    Mar 6, 2017
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Genius Hour and Growing Lifelong Learners

I want my kids to love learning for the sake of learning and to hunger for knowledge. School projects that actively enforce those principles  are my favorite. Genius Hour is a prime example. The idea behind Genius Hour has been utilized in corporations to increase productivity. Employees are given a set amount of time each week to work on pet projects in their field. Google has seen success with this route. Gmail anyone? I’m more motivated to apply myself to... [Read More]

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40
By     |    Feb 20, 2017
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40

Forty years…that seems like a lot of life and yet not much at all. I won’t shed tears over this milestone. I’ve been celebrating this birthday since last month when we visited California. We spent my birthday weekend snowshoeing in Grand Teton National Park. I said goodbye to my 30s and hello to this new decade with multiple adventures. Growing older has taught me to make experiences happen, and I’m abundantly grateful to have another year of living written in... [Read More]

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Sometimes Life is That Cliché
By     |    Feb 3, 2017
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Sometimes Life is That Cliché

If there’s one thing I know about parenting, it’s that children grow up too fast. I know. I know. It’s the epitome of cliché, but also heartrendingly true. Our oldest will be a freshman next year and will register for high school classes this month. I’m sentimental, sometimes to a fault. The email confirming his placement in high school seemed surreal. It surely belonged in someone’s else inbox. I can’t possibly have a teenager in high school. I’m too young,... [Read More]

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From Paper Scrapbooks to Digital Photo Albums
By     |    Jan 11, 2017
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From Paper Scrapbooks to Digital Photo Albums

Once upon a time, I spent hours creating scrapbooks. I had more stickers, paper choices and paper punch tools than one person probably needs. I enjoyed the creative process of telling our life story through photos. When our daughter was born seven years ago, scrapbooking was this insurmountable mountain to tackle. I hadn’t set time aside for me to keep up with my scrapbooking hobby. I was years behind where I wanted to be with our books. It became clear... [Read More]

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Favorite Family-Friendly Card Games
By     |    Jan 9, 2017
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Favorite Family-Friendly Card Games

There isn’t a whole lot I enjoy about winter, but a family game night at home because the weather is too frightful to be outside in is one of the positives of cold-weather living. We’re experiencing a winter with intense winds which makes the safety and warmth of home a giant blessing. Our wind is soul-sucking at times. More than once in the last month I’ve asked myself (and my husband) why we continue to live here. Thankfully our summer... [Read More]

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