I have three kids. My daughter is 8 and my boys are 6. I have never witnessed a jealous moment among them. Never an insult or a harsh name. They argue, but never with a mean spirit. They are best friends.
And they are each others best cheerleaders.
The other day, my daughter was selected to sing in a microphone for a school assembly. She was nervous. She didn’t think she could do it.
“What if I mess up?” she asked.
“It’ll be fine. You’ll do great. Just have fun,” I said.
Her little brother sat at the table through that discussion, eating Cheez-Its and drawing. I didn’t think he was listening.
Well, I didn’t think that until the next morning on the way to school.
We had Christmas music playing and the kids were singing along. After one of the songs ended my daughter said, “I think that lady had a pretty voice.”
I turned down the radio and we talked about how people who sing for a living have to work really hard and practice a lot.
“Well,” my son said, turning in his seat to look at his sister. “I like the way you sing.”
“Oh, thank you,” she answered. “That was really nice of you to say.”
“I’m glad you get to sing into a microphone.”
You know, since that tiny, back-of-the-van conversation, she hasn’t said one word about being afraid to sing in front of the school. She has, in fact, bubbled with excitement over it.
And all because of a little encouragement from her kid brother.
A little encouragement goes a long way.
Who can you encourage today?
This is such a cute story! But it’ s actually much deeper. You’ve been a great model to your kids of showing love and encouragement else they wouldn’t do it! Also, it’s true that one comment from one person can be remembered for a lifetime for the negative or the positive! I’m sure your daughter will always remember that since her brother says she can sing, she can!
Thank you, Myrna. I feel like I’ve been given three growing gifts in my kids. They are such sweet lovies.
I do believe her brother’s confidence in her makes a big difference. Even more than my encouragement. They are so good to each other.
Great story Susie! Thanks for sharing. I hope my three kids are best buddies as they grow. They encourage each other already and that is so special to see.
I’m sure they will be, Bob! Especially when it’s something the parents value so much. 🙂
My son was once told by his teacher to just move his lips while the rest of his class sang. He hasn’t sung since. The power of the tongue!
I have a video of him singing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and he had perfect pitch! I especially loved his own interpretation of the ending “You’ll go down in His story!”
He is now 38. He is himself an encourager, like his mama! (Love the snow effect!)
I am alway so sad to hear about teachers knocking kids down like that. It’s SO unnecessary. So mean spirited. Mean spirited people have no business working with kids.
I’m glad that he’s an encourager. And I’m glad you are too, Roxanne! I’ve known that about you from the start.
Thanks! The snow is a fun winter feature. At least it’s snowing on my blog even though it isn’t snowing in my corner of the world.
How in the world did you do this? I have a 7 year old boy and an (almost) 4 year old girl and they spend so much of their waking time together fighting. 😦 It’s so discouraging. They have their moments where they get a long and play nicely. They have their moments, like your story above, that bring me such pride and joy to my heart. But to be able to say they are never jealous and never mean-spirited is amazing. What’s your secret?
Jenna, I’m sorry your discouraged. It’s so hard when kids fight and I wish I had a secret to give you.
One thing I’ve learned after years of working with kids as a children’s minister and childcare professional is this: often, kids who fight a lot have the potential to become strong leaders. They might just need a lot of patience and a little nudging. For instance, maybe if your 7 year old is prodded to be a good example to his little sister, he might be more intentional about the words he uses or the actions he takes. And if your 4 year old sees a change in her brother’s attitude, she might want to follow suit.
Something that works for us is the empathy talk. How would you feel if that happened to you? Or if he said that to you? What does it feel like when someone says great things to you? Do you think it might help them if you were more careful with your words? When we encourage people to take a hike in someone else’s shoes, we’re inviting them to become people with empathy. Kids are no exception.
I don’t know if that will help your kids. But I do hope you find something that works. I can tell that you care deeply about your kids and that you are head-over-heels for them. I believe you’re a good mom, Jenna. That makes a huge difference.
I have been meaning to get back to you about your kind and encouraging response. Thank you so much for your words, Susie. They were powerful and healing and I wept after I read them. Good tears, you know? Thank you.
It sure doesn’t take much to make a difference in another person’s life. A long time ago, one sentence of affirmation from one of my supervisors turned a job I hated into an enjoyable experience.