How to invite your children into a narrative that speaks life

Wednesday, January 15

 As a mama, a therapist, and someone who's primary love language is words of affirmation, the following message is my heartbeat.

The way we speak to our children,
the narrative we invite them into,
the modeling we display....

is not just incredibly important,
it is life changing and vital.

Our children are not neutral.
They do not take in information and remain neutral about it.
They are a vacuum that sucks every bit of positive or negative energy up,
and then dumps out precisely what they have just taken in.

Children also are not born knowing what to do. That is why it's called child training:) We are constantly in a state of training our children, both directly and indirectly by our actions.

When we invite them into a narrative that speaks life to others,
they will build momentum in that direction.

Since Everett has been born, we are constantly saying to Avonlea,
"isn't Everett so cute??"
We aren't saying that merely so Avonlea will just agree with us or to stroke our own egos that we created a pretty adorable human:)


We are modeling to her what it looks like to verbally affirm her brother. And not only that, we are hoping that by affirming on repeat over and over, it creates a culture of verbal affirmation in our household that is normal and not awkward (because lezzz be honest friends, how many sitcoms mock or downplay the importance of actually telling each other how we feel?? We've got the Full House sap on one side of the spectrum and we've got pretty much any modern day sitcom on the other side that just makes fun of each other for sport)

Because children don't need us to teach them how to be frustrated with one another. That is purely natural, amirightttttt?!?!?! Watch your child take a toy from your other child, and out comes all the animal instincts that run the gamut of anger, frustration, rage, annoyance. WWIII is on.

But children do need us to invite them into a story where they can become each other's finest cheerleaders and best friends. Now on repeat, Avonlea is constantly telling us "Everett is such a cutie boy!". She has begun to catch the vision that she can delight in her brother. It is now a part of our family culture.

While we fall short in so many parenting ideals, we have always worked hard to delight in our children, and invite our children to delight in one another. Because who wants to live in a household where we are always frustrated with each other? NOT I!

A few weeks ago, Everett started learning to crawl. So I asked Avonlea to come with me to the other side of the room and get down on our knees, and clap and cheer little buddy on in his newfound movement.

Avie got SO excited to be a part of her brother's victory, hooping and hollering in what felt like echos from heaven. To watch my 2.5 year old daughter believe in her brother and cheer him on felt holy. "You can do it little buddy...come on...go buddy go!"
A glimpse of glory. 

Friends, by God's gracious design, we mama's play a huge part in cultivating a sense of delight in our home. Here are a few phrases I love to say to my kids...

"I loved spending time with you today, you're so fun to be with"

"You're my favorite girl/boy in the whole world"

"Do you know how much I love you? Sooooo much" (I say this about 10x a day, and now Avie resends with "I love YOU sooooo much")

Children soak up what we give them, and then they pour it out.
So today, practice delighting in your children.
Practice inviting them into a narrative that speaks life to others,
and cultivate opportunities for them to be cheerleaders for others, especially their siblings!

What a treasure to delight in our children and watch them delight in return.
Truly a glimpse of heaven:)

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