What If We Were As Nice to Ourselves As We Are to Our Children?

Compliments are not a rarity in our household.  In the past few days I've told my children good job for a broad smattering of things: finishing a packet of math homework, putting shoes on the correct feet, eating vegetables, cleaning up toys, sharing with a sibling, and remembering to flush the toilet. 

It's automatic.  When I notice good behavior, good intentions, or growth, I comment on it.

I'm sure that you do the same with your children.

How many of us, I wonder, are this free with praise for ourselves when we do a good job?  Lately I've been acutely aware of areas where I'm not meeting my own standards: hurriedly prepared, not-entirely nutritious meals for my family; household-wide messes; a missed writing deadline; moments when I'm lacking patience with my children.

These are real things, but when I focus on my deficiencies I forget about the areas where I'm doing well.  I hug my children often.  I remembered to send several thank you notes in the mail.  I finally dropped off some bags of clothes to Goodwill.  I played two intensely-long games of Chutes and Ladders without rushing my daughter, even when she kept forgetting that it was her turn.  I successfully wrapped up the three college classes that I teach and submitted my final grades for the semester earlier this afternoon.

I'll say it: I'm killing some things.  My guess is that you are, too.  Take a moment to recognize those areas.  Rather than overlooking the many obligations that you're beautifully juggling and harping on that one ball that you've dropped, instead let yourself marvel for a moment that you still have so many up in the air.

Let's be as kind to ourselves as we are to our children.

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!


  1. thanks for the reminder, robin. I will try to give myself a pat on the back today...as soon as I have a free hand (and a free minute!) to do it! :)

  2. Thanks, Robin!  I needed this today!

  3. So true!  I get upset with myself when I don't complete every item on my to do list.  I know I need to learn to pat myself on the back for accomplishing what I do and not beat myself up for the rest.


Back to Top