"Little boys should never be put to bed because they always wake up a day older." from Peter PanHere are some things we have enjoyed doing for birthday affirmations through the years:
1. Make a big deal of the birthday the day before it. We did little things like the following:
a. When he wakes up in the morning, say, “This is the last morning you’ll get up as an eleven year old!”
b. When you do things with him, say fun things like, “Come and read a story with Mom….it’s our last story with you as an eleven year old” or “Come shoot hoops eleven year old—this is the last day I can say that!”
c. Before he goes to bed, make a big deal of it being his last night as an eleven year old, how he’ll wake up old the next day, etc.
d. Tell him what you loved about him as an eleven year old—“I loved it that you such a compassionate eleven year old…”
2. On the morning of his birthday, say fun things like, “Time to wake up twelve year old” or “This is the first morning I am getting you up as a twelve year old,” and “Do you feel a year older this morning?”
3. Encourage him on the day of his birthday with character qualities that you have seen in him—“Sure hope you are as kind of a twelve year old as you were eleven year old!” and “I know your compassion will even increase when you are twelve—if that’s possible!”
4. Charge him on the day of his birthday with character qualities that you would like for him to work on in the coming year (without making him feeling put down, of course)—“Now that you’re twelve, I know you can become even more diligent with your work” or “You have been getting better and better at responsibility this past year—now that you’re twelve, you are going to become Mr. Responsible!”
5. On the night of his birthday, tell him that you are looking forward to spending “age twelve” with him—that your family is so blessed to have him in it and that you don’t want the next birthday to come too soon!
6. Involve others in the blessing/affirmation. We often have times of affirmation on birthdays in which people take turns saying affirmations to or about the birthday person. It isn’t uncommon to have siblings, siblings-in-law, Mom, Dad, etc., say any of the following:
a. “I like how you always let others go first in pot lucks.”
b. “I appreciate how you help at One Heart.”
c. “I love to watch you read. You have become such a great reader.”
d. “I love how you help the clients at One Heart so tenderly. They feel your love—you are such a great volunteer.”
e. “I like how you use your free time to help others.”
f. “I can’t believe how much you have improved in basketball the past year. Your outside shot is amazing.”
g. “You are such a diligent worker. Our family couldn’t make it without your daily work and contribution.”
h. “I love how you do your devotional every day. You are building good self disciplines that will help you your whole life.”
Use birthdays, special occasions, successes, achievements, down days, up days—any days to affirm your children. Build them up in their character and their faith. They might not say so, but they will come to love it.
Tomorrow—back to more help with academics this summer. The summer is officially half way over for most of us. There is still time to help your kids get ready for school in the fall.