When you reach a goal, when you overcome a major obstacle, when you take one small step toward a pre-determined resolution – take the time to rejoice and celebrate. Does this mean to “brag” in front of your kids? No. It means that you will give yourself an internal pat on the back and you will speak to your kids about the way you feel.
Ken Blanchard, in his wonderful “One Minute Manager” series, makes note of how easily we catch each other and ourselves doing something wrong. He encourages his readers to catch each other and ourselves doing something right.
That’s easier said than done. I am harder on myself than anyone else. Father Arlen Fowler, priest, caregiver, friend, teacher and confidante, said to me once, “You are not perfect… There has only been one person who has been perfect, and look at what they did to Him! You continue to go out and do the best you can possibly do each and every time. Know in your own heart that you have done the best you can do.”
This understanding has helped me “pat myself on the back”–silently and internally. When I began learning how to acknowledge even the smallest of victories to myself, I found that more victories came my way. “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, so shall he achieve.” (Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich) You will become what you think about. And your children will do the same.
The challenge as parents is to not only believe in your own ability and accessibility to success, but nurture that within your children. You are a role model for your children. When you develop confidence and begin accomplishing success, know that you are teaching your children more than they will ever learn in any textbook.
Share your own joy for your own successes. Be sure to stimulate and share joy in every accomplish that your child may have–no matter how large or how small.
Look for the good and stress that. Don’t stifle your child’s growth and development by placing unrealistic expectations on their performance. Help them to be all that they can be–right from the beginning. Stimulate the “becoming” by nurturing and reinforcing every step of the way. Children must believe in themselves in order to be all they can be.
No matter how great or how small your financial successes, let your children know that the team–called your family–shares in those financial rewards.
What To Do
1. Talk about your successes. Not in a bragging manner–but rather in terms of how you feel.
2. Accept compliments. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Accept these pats on your back as reinforcement–not as “head swellers.”
3. Notice even the tiniest accomplishments that your children reach and give positive reinforcement. Do this sincerely. Positive reinforcement will encourage repetition of a behavior.
4. Enroll your kids in the business of your family and share the rewards–including the financial rewards with them. There are large tasks and small tasks–but there are no important tasks and non-important tasks. It takes everyone and everything to make it work.
Look for your strengths, maximize those, and pat yourself on the back when you take even the smallest step forward. Do the same for your children – catch them doing something right and acknowledge that.