I made a long list of ways I appreciate my sons. Yes, I am that type of person. A “list” person. A “post it to my mirror” person. I made this list for you, too.
I am the type of person that needs a special occasion to motivate me, to give me clarity. Yes, I love New Year's Resolutions. I love anniversaries. I love birthdays. I love surprises and celebrating big days and even smaller days. Maybe I like those occasions because those are the days I find easiest to feel the gratitude I want to feel every day. My husband is the opposite. If he intends to have a fancy dinner, he does. If he wants to buy himself a massage, he makes it happen. Honestly, it doesn't help my need to make a big deal out of special occasions.
Don't get me wrong; he adores me (what is not to adore?) so he happily goes along with me. That is why we're good together. This weekend we celebrate ten years of marriage. What I have learned is that remembering why you fell in love, why you chose one another as partners for life, is a critical piece to making a marriage work happily. Life moves fast and with time seemingly running quicker than we can grasp onto it, these bits of gratitude and appreciation easily get lost in our days.
Did you know that we humans spend most of our time interacting with each other in negative ways? I want to be the one who – a la John Gottman's magic ratio – has a 5 to 1 ratio of positive to negative. I am a glass half empty type of gal by nature. So, I have to work on this approach every day.
100 Phrases to Appreciate Your Child
In my effort to work on my connection with not only my husband but my family and my kids, I am intentionally working on a habit of daily gratitude and appreciation. For me, and it is okay if you don't function this way, I need a list, a “go to”, back pocket cheat sheet if you will, of phrases, mantras, and reminders of how to express my gratitude and appreciation for the people in my life, including myself.
I respect my husband's privacy and will keep my list for him between him and me. I did, however, recently create one for my sons. I thought you might appreciate the list. In my experience, being specific and within context helps a lot with children, especially.
- Thanks for watching your little brother so that I could shower.
- I love watching you draw. You are so focused on your coloring.
- My favorite time of day is when we read together.
- I love hearing about your day.
- It's so much fun watching you swim/play baseball/insert activity.
- Thanks for helping me peel the carrots.
- Thanks for picking up your toys.
- Your smile is the best!
- Thanks for giving me a hug!
- I love hiking with you.
- Thank you for reading to me last night.
- Thanks for engaging in conversation and talking so nicely with that new kid at the park.
- I love hearing your laugh.
- Thanks for being such an awesome kid.
- Thanks for being kind to that woman at the grocery store.
- Thanks for brushing your teeth without my asking.
- Thanks for doing all your homework.
- It was so helpful when you brought in your things from the car.
- Thanks for putting your clothes in the dirty basket.
- Thank you so much for your card.
- I love it when you make me things at school.
- Thank you for being so helpful at dinner time. Clearing plates helps me a lot.
- Thanks for setting the table.
- Thanks for remembering your water bottle.
- I love spending time with you.
- Thanks for picking that flower for me.
- You remembered my favorite color! Thank you!
- I am so proud of you for finishing soccer tonight even though you were exhausted.
- Thanks for bringing me water. I was thirsty.
- Thank you for being so good to your Nana.
- Thank you for telling me how I can support you.
- Thanks for doing that puzzle with me!
- Thank you for taking care of your brother when he fell.
- Thank you for being so careful when you used my laptop yesterday.
- I appreciate you washing your hands after eating that sticky popsicle.
- Thank you for taking care of your brother when he was sick.
- Thanks for picking up your toys from the driveway.
- I appreciate your taking off your shoes before coming into the house.
- Thank you for eating so carefully in the car. It helps me keep the car clean when there are fewer crumbs!
- Thank you for asking how my day was.
- Thank you for including your brother in the game with your friends.
- Thank you for being so thoughtful holding the door for me.
- I love doing science experiments with you.
- Thank you for being so calm last night at dinner.
- I appreciate when you do yoga poses with me.
- Thank you for giving me a goodnight hug. It is one of the favorite parts of my day.
- I love how much ice cream makes you happy!
- I appreciate how polite you are at school.
- Do you know how much I enjoy watching you ride bikes?
- You know how much I love hiking. Thank you for coming with me.
- Thank you for making sure the water stayed in the tub during your bath.
- I had so much fun shopping with you today!
- When you made that Lego house for me yesterday, my heart melted.
- You were careful on the swing, watching out for your brothers. Thank you.
- Thank you for tossing the football with your brother this morning. It made his day and mine.
- I appreciate how you notice the tiny details in our yard.
- I am grateful for you. You made me a mama.
- You have such a terrific imagination! You've created a robot out of boxes! How cool!
- I appreciate how excited you are about the new bird sounds we hear in our yard.
- Thank you for trying a new food tonight. It is okay that you didn't like it.
- I appreciate how your greet Dad when he gets home from work.
- You are such a hard worker. I appreciate that.
- I love how you combed your hair.
- Thank you for giving me a kiss before I left for work this morning.
- You took great care of your bike in the park yesterday. Thank you for taking care of your things.
- I appreciate you doing your chores without my asking.
- Thank you for listening to me.
- Thank you for helping your brother brush his teeth. That is hard work for a two-year-old!
- I appreciate how much you enjoy telling stories.
- I love how curious you are!
- Your jokes are funny! Thank you for sharing them with me!
- You made your brother's day today giving him a job in your mud kitchen.
- How did you know I love the color purple? Thank you for remembering!
- I enjoy baking with you.
- You were so careful emptying the dishwasher. I love how you carried the delicate plates to the cabinet.
- Last night when you told me “I love you, mom,” you made my day.
- Thank you for throwing the frisbee with me. I had so much fun playing with you today!
- I love dancing with you. Thank you for teaching me those new moves!
- Thank you for choosing my outfit for me.
- Putting your sunscreen on all by yourself this morning was helpful.
- Thank you for waiting for dinner to eat. Snacking always fills you up! I appreciate you understanding your body!
- Thanks for putting the caps back on the markers.
- I love eating watermelon with you.
- I enjoy watching movies with you. Thank you for choosing something we both might enjoy!
- You have a big heart! Thank you for drawing me that picture.
- Thank you for being so respectful of our home.
- You look great! Thank for choosing your clothes and getting dressed!
- Thank you for putting flowers in a vase. They look beautiful on our kitchen table.
- Thank you for washing the mud off your feet before coming into the house.
- I appreciate how you like to keep a journal.
- I love how you hang your artwork in the playroom and your room. It makes your room look great!
- Thank you for washing your hair.
- Thank you for saying, “Please.”
- I appreciate spending time with you in our garden.
- I love berry picking with you!
- Thank you for being quiet and reading to yourself this morning before the rest of us got up for the day.
- Thank you for being so gentle harvesting our peas yesterday.
- I love it when you play with my hair.
- I appreciate how carefully you cared for your younger brother yesterday.
- It meant a lot to me to see you teaching your brother how to make turns on his bike.
So, I think this list will help me with my glass half empty issue. What do you say?
Interested in Learning More about Intentional & Positive Parenting? Check out Amanda Morgan's Parenting Course.
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