Each month, my kids and I have breakfast with a group of other dads and their kids. As each dad takes his turn going around the table speaking about their kids and what they’re proud of, I watch their kids. They perk up, their eyes wide open in anticipation, as their dad shares why he’s proud. Their reactions are priceless and my kids have the exact same response.
The “pride exercise” is the highlight of each breakfast, and one of the foundational pieces at each monthly All Pro Dad’s Day Breakfasts. Every single dad and kid at the breakfasts love it. But part of me wonders, as great as this exercise is, how often do we do this when we are not at an All Pro Dad’s Day breakfast. Do we let our kids know that we are proud of them enough?
If we only do it once a month, then the answer is no.
We may want to, but sometimes the busyness of life works against us and we don’t realize we could encourage our kids more. How great would it be if we did the pride exercise on a regular basis.
Here are 10 ways to say, “I am proud of you”:
1. “You did a great job cleaning your room!”
2. “That was hard work, but you finished the job!”
3. “You are an amazing brother/sister!”
4. “You’re showing great leadership (at school, on your team)!”
5. “It makes me proud to say ‘that’s my son/daughter!'”
6. “You must be the fastest kid on your team!”
7. “You’re a really a great reader.”
8. “How did you know that answer? That’s amazing. You are so smart!”
9. “You are very mature for a __-year-old kid.”
10. “That was a tough situation, but you handled it like a champ!”
One of the best ways to let your kids know you are proud of them more often is to intentionally catch them doing something good. When they play sports, look for the good.
When they are practicing an instrument, find their improvement. When they interact with their siblings or friends, be on the lookout. The more we search for something, the more likely we’ll find it.
Look for reasons to say, “I am proud of you …” to your kids and follow through on it.
Jackie Bledsoe is an author, blogger and speaker. But first and foremost, he is a husband and father of three who helps men better led and love the ones who matter most. For the original article, visit allprodad.com.