What do you want your child to be when he or she grows up? Someone who is:
- A leader
- Someone who doesn’t give up
Whatever you want your child to be…
Here’s the thing: they learn these character traits from you. Children learn from the way you show and tell them. You are the one teaching, encouraging, listening, and loving them. You show and tell them about honesty, hard work, trust, perseverance, confidence, etc. You can choose to help build these character traits, or not, by what you say and do.
When a child does not respond exactly the way you want them to, keep in mind this is your opportunity to show and tell them a better way.
I recall a particular moment when I was 9 years old. I had just finished sewing a cross stitch pillow, and I ran to my grandmother to show her I was done. She was very proud of me, but she saw a mistake I had made in one section of the pillow. She pointed it out, saying I wasn’t finished yet, that I needed to fix this one part. I resisted, even cried, saying “no one will ever notice.”
She said: “I noticed, told you, and now you know.”
She sat down with me, undid the sewing in that part, and handed it back to me to do it correctly. As she was undoing my work, she and I talked about how others may not notice the mistakes I make, but once I am aware of a mistake, it became my chance to do better. The exact words I don’t remember; the interaction I do remember.
The thoughts instilled in my mind that day have been recalled often throughout my life. That is, first I have thought about giving my best in this moment so it will allow me to become better; second I have thought to be grateful when someone is there to help me become better.
Have you had one of these conversations? Has someone shared a new idea that caused you to re-think, to make a better choice in the future? Did they T.E.L.L. you? Did they teach, encourage, listen, and love you?
If not you, then who will T.E.L.L. our children? Have you ever really thought about how you Show & T.E.L.L. a child? That is, have you thought about how your actions and words impact the younger person in front of you?
Welcome to the Show & T.E.L.L. Blog
We are all about sharing ideas that inspire you to T.E.L.L. your children – inspire you to Teach, Encourage, Listen, and Love the younger people in your life.
- When we teach children, we give them opportunities to discover new knowledge and skills. We help them develop an open mind and desire to learn.
- When we encourage children, we give them the support needed to try new things and not fear failure. We attend to their emotions because our children’s minds, up through puberty, are directed by emotion, not rationale or logic. By encouraging children, we help them develop courage and confidence.
- When we listen to children, we pay close attention to their thoughts and feelings. We aim to understand them before asking them to understand us. We must listen so we can respond with an appropriate thought or action that benefits them.
- When we love children, we are compassionate and caring. We strive to show our youth how to interact with honesty, patience, and kindness, and show them what it means to build trust, hope, and perseverance.
Today, just begin asking yourself, ‘How am I T.E.L.L.ing the children in my life?’ How are you teaching, encouraging, listening, and loving this child?
One thought, one action at a time. If you want a child to be better, you can show and tell them better.
If not you, then who?