Every Wednesday after school, Malia heads up to my room to watch TV while I give Joelle her piano lessons. Keep in mind my bedroom is a whole floor above the living room where the lessons take place, at the very end of the hallway -- and remember, the TV is on.
One day, several weeks ago, I was going on and on to Joelle about how proud I was of her and how she was doing with learning piano. I was in the middle of my proud-of-you speech when I heard the pitter-patter of little feet coming from upstairs and Malia's small voice saying, "What about me? Why aren't you proud of me?"
Somehow -- even being on another level and at the other end of the house AND with the TV on -- her sweet little ears heard me saying to Joelle what she wished to hear about herself.
Children are always listening, and they are always yearning to hear us tell them how proud we are of them and how much we love them. They thrive on this. They desperately need to feel loved and appreciated; to feel valued. And there are no other people they need to hear it from more than their parents.
So let's take that responsibility seriously. Let's give them the words they are craving to hear -- before they have to ask for them.