A successful businessman questioned the choices he’d made when his children were really young. Like so many people striving to build careers and provide for their families, he wondered if he’d been home enough. Especially when his marriage ended.
“Something surprising happened when my 17-year-old son came to live with me: we got very close and talked a lot. He had played Little League baseball, and, in his junior year added basketball. But he told me the only reason he’d played basketball was to make me happy. It just floored me: I thought he liked it. But he said it was because I told him that he had to do things and get involved and be successful. When he said it, it hurt a little bit and felt good at the same time.”
How do we support our kids without pressuring them to do things solely to please us? Especially now that research tells us that complimenting kids on effort and accomplishment (v. how they “are”) works better for many of them. What is best way to communicate our expectations for behavior and our unconditional love?…. to let them know we love them just because.