The other day, Kenna asked if she could give me a manicure.
I responded, “Absolutely!”
She then proceeded to paint my nails in the delicious colors of pink and purple–in no particular order and with no particular design.
I watched her paint those colors on my nails with all the precision that a six-year-old girl could muster; and the results were nothing short of spectacular.
Not because of the color or the pattern, but because she did it all by herself.
The average woman would have probably looked at those nails and would have grabbed for the acetone as fast as possible. Kenna looked at those nails and were so proud of what she was able to accomplish. And I’ve been showing off those nails every day since!
Now, they are just remnants of pink and purple splotches on my nails, but I can’t get myself to wipe off the little bits of color left over. I guess they will just wear off…eventually.
As I looked at my nails this morning, while I type on my keyboard, I can’t help but think of how much of our children’s confidence is a direct result of how we perceive their effort. It’s so tempting to desire perfection from our kids. We want them to perform to our standards, and get frustrated when they don’t. Then we do that one thing that can be so destructive–we “fix” it!
Your kid makes up her bed, but you come after her and straighten the covers.
Your kid makes cookies, but you come after him and check the recipe.
Your kid puts away the toys, but you come after her and organize them.
If we teach our kids that their efforts are not enough, they will eventually learn to not even try. Go ahead and make a big fuss over their efforts. Be conservative with correction and lavish on the praise. When they know their small efforts are appreciated and valued, they will be more likely to grow their efforts into a larger scale.
And if your daughter ever wants to paint your nails, go for it and let it wear off!!!