“Parents need to fill a child's bucket of self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can't poke enough holes to drain it dry.” Alvin Price
One simple way that we have found to tie heart strings with our children—and increase self-esteem is to talk to them with terms of endearment. I realize that not everybody is comfortable being so “gushy” as I like to be—but regardless of our comfort level, I think all of our kids can benefit from being “made over” and “built up” sometimes—even at times for no reason.
Here are three ways to get you started:
1. When your child enters the room (regardless of whether he has just done what you want him to or not), how do you respond? Try some of the following room-entering sayings or actions:
*”How’s the best ___ year old son/daughter in the whole world?”
*”Here comes the princess of the fourteen year olds!”
*High five as he walks by.
*Grab her hand and give it secret squeezes.
*”Here comes the best husband in the world--next to his father”….my new favorite to use on my married son!
*”One of the sweetest daughters in the world has just entered the room.”
*Give him a one hundred watt smile.
*Upon waking: “Boy, I’ve missed you so much all night!”
*In the mornings: “I am so happy I get to spend the day with you!”
*”Here comes the sweetest daughter-in-law!”
*”Here comes Mr. Diligence or Miss Sweetness or Mr. Helpful…etc.”
*”Hi, Sweet Girl. Where have you been all my life?”
*”Do you belong to anybody…’coz I’d like to keep you for my very own!”
2. Nicknames and terms of endearment set your child apart from everyone else. We have more nicknames than I can remember, but nobody here seems to mind them!
*Nanny is the nickname of our hard-working, first born daughter.
*Millie Mercy is our nickname for our daughter Cami who’s a softy with her younger brothers
*Jaby Baby is our first son’s nickname.
*Kare Bear is Kara’s nickname.
*Hi ya, Si-ah is what we often say to Josiah.
*HOY, SOY, DOY are nicknames for my family members: husband of the year; son of the year; daughter of the year.
*Baby, sweetie, honey, dolly are nicknames for every sweet child I meet!
3. When your child is leaving for the evening, be sure to bless him and send him with your love.
*”I can’t believe you’re leaving for the whole evening; I’ll be so lonely for you!”
*”I hope you have a wonderful time…but not better than you would at home with me!”
*”Call me halfway through the evening…I’ll be lonely for you!”
*”I love you, and I can’t wait until we’re together again!”
*”I don’t know how I’ll make it through the evening!”
Silly? Maybe some...sometimes. But they usually get a smile--and often even a hug--out of the "kids" in my life. Our kids are worth being silly and gushy over, don't you think?