Mother’s Day provides the perfect opportunity to give a gift to your adult children who are moms and dads themselves: praise their parenting skills. We were recently at a party for a 30-year-old mom and it was exhausting just to watch the young parents run after active toddlers, making sure they didn’t trip on a brick patio or grab another child’s toy or choke on a piece of food. Those are labor intensive, exhausting years, often filled with second-guessing decisions.
Hearing praise from parents is called “proactive acknowledgement” the experts tell us. “In Compliment Parents And Make Their Day,” author Doone Davis writes:
“When we admire qualities or actions in others, we actually bring out those positive qualities and actions, both in those whom we acknowledge and in life in general. Proactive acknowledgment is very powerful and can be both magical and transformational.”
So what specifically to say? In another post, “The 10 Things You Don’t Say To Parents But Should,” author Barbara Graham gave these suggestions:
I respect how you’re raising your kids: You may not do things the way I did, but it’s a different world today, especially given the state of the economy and all the pressures on young families.
Don’t worry; you’re wonderful parents: We all make mistakes sometimes–as I know only too well. So what if you let your daughter eat cupcakes for dinner every now and then?
Your children are wonderful: All kids go through difficult stages–you did, and look how fantastic you turned out!
I support your decisions: You’re an intelligent, responsible adult with a good head on your shoulders, and I know that you think everything through carefully.
I’m here if you need me: I realize that you’re up on all the latest information about childhood safety, diet, education, and health, which is different than back in my day. I trust that if you want my advice or opinion, you’ll ask for it.