YOU MATTER. You have to recognize that in yourself before you are able to show your children that they matter. Think about your positive, intrinsic qualities. Are you loyal, open-hearted, curious, creative, resilient, forgiving? A bad hair day or a few extra pounds can't change that. When you reflect on your life, place value on WHO you are. Get up each day, challenge yourself, and try to be better than you were yesterday.
So, no one ever talks about just how hard parenting is. It's all gender-reveal and cute little clothes at the beginning, but, dang, parenting is hard and it's FOREVER! No one is perfect at it, and, trust me, there will always be someone who appears to have it more together, but who cares? They haven’t walked in your shoes. They don’t matter to your children. You do. Sometimes being perfectly imperfect is the best we can do.
I can tell you, even when your children have moved out, if you've done something right, you are still involved in their lives, and, good or bad, you are still their most important role model!
As parents, we need to continually promote our children's positive, intrinsic qualities as they grow. From the day they are born, we need to make chunks of time to connect, with no distractions... to look directly into their eyes and snuggle them, sing to them, read to them, talk to them, smile at them, listen to them, play with them.
Don't waste compliments on their little outfits or cute hairstyles; that has nothing to do with the person they are becoming. Even when they’re tiny, notice aloud when they accomplish a milestone. “Look at you! You figured out how to roll over! You did it all by yourself!” Compliment when they are helpful and kind. “We are so lucky to have you in our family. You cleaned up your toys so quickly, and now we can go to the park.” As they grow, talk about ways they can make the world a better place. That way they will grow up feeling connected, feeling valued, and knowing they can make a difference. They will feel like THEY MATTER.