As we lay in bed one night, my 2-year-old turned to me and said, “Jesus made me beautiful and all my friends love me.” In that moment, I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear. I automatically agreed with her, wrapped my arms around her and hugged her to sleep with my heart feeling so happy. Her confidence is through the roof for being so tiny. Though she may be little in size, she has the attitude and sass of someone a lot older.
She’s not only smart; she’s also kind, brave and fearless. I’m sure my constant daily praises have a lot do with her demeanor.
According to the Experts
I could mention so many articles that say that parents shouldn’t make a big deal out of the little things their children do. The “experts” say that we shouldn’t encourage small successes too much because we make our children believe that life is so easy, when in reality it’s not. They say when we build our children up to believe they are great at everything, they end up failing as adults. We then become at fault for not preparing our children for the realities in our scary world.
I’m not Princess Poppy from the movie Trolls. I know life is not all cupcakes and rainbows. Trust me. I know this.
Life can be tough, but ultimately what matters is how you see things — your attitude and your perspective. I believe that if you can see the good out of a bad situation, you can handle whatever life may throw at you.
Her Efforts are Enough
So I’m teaching my child to try her best at everything she does. And her best will always be enough for me — enough for praises, high fives and kisses. I want her to know that if she fails, she can always “get back up again,” referring once more to Princess Poppy. It’s her favorite movie. We’ve seen it at least 100 times.
I am her biggest fan, how can I not make a big deal on her daily accomplishments? I want her to grow up and be confident enough to chase after her dreams. To know that anything is possible. I want her to know that mommy is always proud of her, no matter what. Her tiny accomplishments will always be a big deal to me. Well, because they are, they really are.
Good job, pretty girl!
That was awesome, my love!
You did amazing, babe!
You can do it baby girl!
You’re so polite, sweetheart!
How nice of you!
I speak kind words of encouragement to her every day. I want her to know that I see her efforts and I appreciate them. This tiny little person has such a big heart and the willingness to please and help mommy and daddy. I also appreciate her tantrums. They remind me that, in fact, she is just a child. My child.
Going with My Gut
I don’t know if I’m hindering her; maybe the research is right. But do I know that I’m doing what feels right in my heart, and no article or person can tell me how I should or shouldn’t speak to my daughter.
I want my little one to know that her words matter just as much as her actions. Apologizing doesn’t make things okay, but it can make them better. I want her to speak to others without fear, but with confidence.
Growing up, I remember my little brother not wanting to speak to any adult other than my parents. He wouldn’t even talk to family members. He was shy, always hiding behind my parents and afraid to speak out loud. I don’t think it was until his late elementary school years that he began to communicate a little better.
With my daughter, I’ve been encouraging her to speak her mind, share her feelings and to just speak up. She’ll hand the lady behind the cash register her items and say please and thank you. She’ll give her name and age to complete strangers when they say how pretty she is and ask for her name.
Confidence on Display
Last week while waiting at the doctor’s office, I began to get impatient, like any mom would be. So I asked her to go to the front desk and ask for the doctor. Without hesitation, she looked at me and said, “Ok, mommy.” She walked up the the desk, stood on her tiptoes and asked, “Where is the doctor? Can he come in 5 minutes?”
She doesn’t know the concept of time, but she’s heard me say “5 more minutes” on many occasions and for different scenarios. The lady smiled, maybe not understanding what she was saying and continued to type away. She came back to me and said “Mommy, the lady is not listening to me.” I replied, “It’s ok, we can wait. Let’s be patient.”
We’ve been discussing patience for quite some time now. She likes to have her way — right away — like any and every toddler out there. She’ll start complaining in a fussy voice and nagging. I’ve had to teach her to be calm, patient and ask nicely in order to get the correct attention she wants. She also told my sister once, “Be patient Tia Cici,” as my sister was attempting to comb her hair. I can only imagine there might have been some hair pulling for my daughter to literally tell her aunt to calm down with the hairbrush. I teach my mini me and she goes off trying to school others.
So when I reflect on her words, “Jesus made me beautiful and all my friends love me,” I can hear her confidence, her self-worth, and her self-love, too. Every child should know that they are special, beautiful and loved. They need to hear it and believe it. They should know that their efforts, both big and small, mean something!
These tiny little people we are raising are amazing little creatures that will become adults one day. Let’s focus on building them up, giving them something to believe in, or better yet, someone who believes in them.
Bella, my child, Jesus made you beautiful, kind and smart. He gave you to me and made me your mommy. You are the epitome of love and also oh so very loved. You are everything to me.