Monday, December 27, 2010

Make Your New Year’s Resolution to Compliment Your Kids More Often

Your child(ren) look to you for encouragement, affirmation, security, and love.  This is absolutely necessary for positive emotional development in children. Do you recognize how often you compliment your children? What was the most recent positive affirmation you verbalized with your child?  When giving compliments to your kids make sure they are genuine, honest and really mean something.  Kids can sense when you are not being genuine and when they are just surface comments and this can be completely crushing to a child’s self-esteem.   False-praise can break a child’s trust. Conversely, praise from the heart will bring up a child’s confidence and make them feel safe & truly loved.
Make your New Year’s Resolution for 2011 to give meaningful compliments to your child.  Below are 10 compliments every child should hear.

1.      Recognize and compliment character:
When your child(ren) demonstrate honesty, kindness, trustworthiness and reliability – that is a great time to give them a heartfelt compliment.
2.      Compliment obedience and respect:It’s too easy to fall into patterns of disapproval, where the only time we notice is when kids do wrong. Rather than waiting for disobedience or disrespect (then coming down like a ton of bricks) try noticing obedience and respect: “I don’t always remember to tell you, but you are an awesome young man, and I appreciate the way you treat your mother”.
3.      Appreciate them for simply being part of the family: “Every time I see you, I’m thankful that I your mom/dad.” Kids need to understand that they are valued simply because they are themselves.
  1. Compliment contributions to the family:
    “Feeding the pet (sweeping the porch… putting out the trash) is helping the family. I appreciate your contribution.” Kids need to understand that what they do makes a difference, that the adults notice, and that pitching in is a good part of family life.
  2. Compliment the quality of a child’s work:“You did a great job setting the table!” “You mowed the lawn right up to the edge.  Way to go!  I’m so glad you take this job so seriously, it shows.” Doing a job at a high standard is always worth noting.
  3. We can compliment the effort, even when the result is not the best:“Your willingness to help makes me happy! Now we need to take a look at how you can get the trash to the curb without leaving a trail!” Compliments can be an important part of our role as teachers.
  4. It’s important that we compliment children when they achieve something new:
    “Wow! You are doing a great job writing your first and last name.” “Awesome! I’m not at all surprised after you worked so hard.” A well-placed compliment can keep a positive ball rolling.
  5. We can compliment sense of style even if we don’t exactly share their taste:
    We don’t want to hedge kids into being clones of dad, or mom. “When it comes to putting together an outfit, you certainly have some flair!” “I can tell that you put a lot of thought into the way you look.” “I’ve never seen a table set quite like that before – you have an amazing imagination!” It’s not useful to limit compliments to the narrow range of our own taste.
  6. Compliment steps toward a long-term goal:“Son, the improvement you’re showing is commendable. Thanks for trying.” Waiting for perfection before we’re willing to dish out a compliment is inefficient, may dampen enthusiasm, and does little to help the process of growth.
  7. Try complimenting their friends:But only do this when you can do it honestly! “Your friends are the greatest!” “That Jake is such a positive young man.” “You know, it gives me a lot of confidence to know you use common sense in choosing your friends.”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Shutterfly - Here Comes Holiday

Are you a busy mom?  That's probably a ridiculous question because of course you are!!! In between playdates, cleaning, cooking, activities, shopping, and events you are supposed to find time to send out holiday cards.  I have been using for the past 5 years & LOVE it!  Shutterfly is an online photo gallery life saver. One of my very favorite things to do is to make personalized photo calendars for everyone in my family.  Shutterfly makes it so easy to upload your digital photos onto their site and you can choose the style of calendar you want as well as personalize it with special events through out the year.  Since my kiddos were born I have made holiday cards and photo Christmas cards.  This is the quickest & easiest thing to do & I get a ton of compliments every year on how cool they are. On a side note they are very affordable which keeps me coming back. I love a good deal!

Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly… apply here: 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

top 5 activities with kid blogs & sites
it’s getting cool out – leaves are falling – and we are soon to be indoors for the next several months. if your family is anything like ours we tend to get a little cabin fever and are always looking for cool projects.  try some of these cool activities without needing expensive materials on these top 5 kid blogs and sites.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day
At a time where we are so caught up in Facebook, Twitter, reminders of all our friends’ birthdays, a zillion emails every day of the special deals we should take advantage of, we often forget to take a look around and be thankful for the life we have. Many of us only worry about getting all the kids to school or practice on time or when that next annual performance raise will come so we can get a little nicer ride.   Let’s get real – there are thousands of children in our own backyard that have much greater worries. These children don’t get to think about going to soccer practice or tumbling classes. They are bogged down with pills, treatments, and keeping enough energy up to make it to the next round of testing. Many of them are lucky enough to have family nearby who they can see every day. But so many of them cannot afford such a luxury and spend many of their days with no one but the wonderful caretakers at the children’s hospitals.  Can you imagine? A young child alone in a hospital and the only familiar faces are those of the Doctors, Nurses and other kids in the hospital?  It happens every day, it is happening right now.  These children are faced with things that even in my adult life I would find hard to swallow.  They are so brave, so positive & so strong; bless their little hearts.  The i like book was developed with these amazing children in mind. It is designed for 12 months of “LIKES” about the children.  The “LIKES” come from the Doctors, Nurses, friends & family who get to interact with the kids on a consistent basis.  Bringing up a child’s confidence starts with the basics of creating a documented keepsake for them to reflect on every day from the people who are caring for them daily. I can just imagine some of the “LIKES” that would invoke a sweet giggle & heartfelt memory:
I like... playing knock knock jokes with you
I like… that you always want to wear my Broncos button
I like…that you wink at me every time I come in your room
I like…how very brave you are
I know I went pretty heavy in this BLOG but the message is an important one.  These children need you to VOTE everyday in October so that they may receive an i like book of their very own.  The i like book company is trying to win a contest from Pepsi Refresh Challenge so they can donate more than 3,000 books to kids in long-term care.  They are currently working with 5 hospitals that really want these books but have room for 5 more if you would like to make a recommendation.  Please reach out to us on our Facebook page or make a comment on this BLOG but don’t forget to VOTE at
Meredith Looney | Owner | the i like book

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Power of the Written Word
 Lance J. Looney

Is there a special handwritten note from your childhood that you remember?  I remember fondly my special note. It was from my father.  I grew up in a small rural town several hours from Des Moines, Iowa.  I was a sophomore in high school and ready to board our noisy yellow school bus for the long trip to Des Moines to play in the High School state playoff.  If you have ever seen the movie Hoosiers, it was a similar setting. The town windows were painted, crowds of people everywhere and the local police car in front of the bus with its lights ablaze ready to give a ceremonial escort out of town.

Basketball was a way of life for our town when I was a child, and state playoffs were a first for our little hamlet. With my gym bag thrown over my shoulder, I went to say goodbye to my parents one last time before the long bus ride.  With an awkward and unusual gesture, my father handed me something.   I looked down and it was a letter he had written.  I was given strict instructions not to open the letter until our bus was out of eyesight. I slipped it into my jacket pocket unable to say anything, shocked at what just occurred.

Once on the bus, I settled into the dusty seat with my hands shaking while I ripped open the letter and started to read, hoping all the while my teammates would not notice me as we bounced noisily down the highway. The words in the letter became alive as I started to read what was written.  In a single, handwritten, multi-folded page, I was expecting to see words about success and accomplishment since my father was always great at giving me achievement and praise, but instead it was a letter written about how he felt about me and what he liked about ME. He was proud of the person I was. He liked my gentle spirit and my kind personality. For several moments after reading I just stared at the letter, thinking about how it meant so much to me that he would take the time to do this. For the first time, I noticed what great handwriting he had. What he said in the letter was nothing new for he had said encouraging things to me before. But now there was written proof for me upon which to reflect. It was an amazing experience, one that has left such a happy memory.

Fast-forward several years to the present. Now, I am raising my own two children. If you are like me, you find yourself almost dizzy at the amount of information we process in a day. We are beaten down by the sheer pace of life in areas such as our finances, negative media, traffic delays, and countless others.  In so many situations the advanced technology can literally keep us from authentic communication with our children. I began to reflect on stories regarding the power of the written word and how it affects people, just like the letter from my father affected me.   A couple of immediate stories raced to the front of my mind.  Several days ago, I was at a meeting with Tom, a father of two.  He explained me that he tends to focus on the negative when raising his children.  I challenged him to WRITE simple and quick notes to his children.  At a follow up meeting, he excitedly explained to me that an amazing thing had started to happen. The writing, no matter how short and simple, allows him to focus on the positive because he is actively thinking about what he is going to write.
While on a business trip I met with Greg.  He shared his story with me.  His work has taken him all over the world, and he has experienced so many things.  He has had an amazing life. Currently, he lives next to the ocean with his own boat dock in the backyard.  He explained to me how written words are so important. He had tragically lost his father when he was nine years old.  During a visit to his house, I witnessed him race into his bedroom and pull out a school book that his mother had written for him the same year his father passed away.  He says there is something magical about his mother's handwriting, and when he looks at the book it gives him peace and comfort knowing he was loved. With all of the material things he has been able to afford in his life, nothing in his life compares to a book that was created for him over 50 years ago. Wow, what an amazing testament to the power of written words!

Although there are many ways of communicating with children that are important, I encourage and challenge you to find ways to bring the handwritten note into your home.  It allows you, the parent, to re-center yourself while capturing precious moments in such a natural way. I wish you much success, peace and happiness on your journey of parenthood.