Words Your Child Needs From You, Part IV: “I Treasure You”

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Treasured ChildBuried treasure . . . Treasure chests . . .
Argh, me mateys! These be words that spark the imagination!

If you’re a parent, you have a treasure in your own living room.

No digging required.

And you have an opportunity to show this little treasure just how valuable she is to you.

Actions can say, “I treasure you.”

You are more likely to stoop to pick up a twenty-dollar bill than a penny because you would treasure the twenty-dollar bill more. Your actions show that the twenty is worth more to you. So do you treat your child like a penny or a twenty-dollar bill?

A twenty-dollar-bill child feels she has worth.

When you’re willing to change your plans to be with her when she needs you, you tell her she is worth your time.

If you stop what you’re doing (like texting, watching TV, sweeping the floor) to take care of her needs, she feels she is worth more than your tasks.

Each time you listen to her talk—even baby talk— she feels she is worth your attention.

Actions like these say, “I treasure you” quite clearly. Need more ideas? Try these:

  • Give your child a special nickname. If it’s funny and sweet (not a put-down) she will love hearing you call her that special name for years to come. It’s a tribute to her uniqueness.
  • Make up stories in which she is the hero. She’ll be thrilled that you picture her as a brave, bold, and beautiful winner.
  • Be silly with her. By having fun her way, you show that her way is important.
  • Click here for even more suggestions.
  • Ask us for ideas. At Choices we’ve got lots of helpful parenting tips we can share, and you can Earn While You Learn them.

Your words can say, “I treasure you.”

Treasuring words go beyond congratulations, beyond kudos for accomplishments. Treasuring words affirm that your child herself is valuable to you, just because of who she is. Here are some examples of treasuring language:

  • “Of all the little girls on Planet Earth, you are my favorite.”
  • “Hearing you giggle makes me feel happy, too.”
  • “How wonderful it is to wake up and see you every morning!”
  • “Being with you is one of the best parts of my day.”

Notice that none of these statements evaluate the child. They just value her.

Treasuring is not about performance; it’s about relationship.

When your child learns that she matters to you just as she is—not because of what she can do—she’ll feel secure and confident, even when she experiences failure. Telling your child “I treasure you” assures her that she is special because she is your child. Treasuring your child is another way to tell her, “I love you.”

A sense of worthiness-smaller

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What if treasuring your child doesn’t come easily?

At Choices Pregnancy Center, we get asked lots of parenting questions. You wouldn’t be the first person to express these feelings:

  • I never felt treasured. How can I give my child what I never received?
  • Since I didn’t plan on being a parent, how can I treasure a child I didn’t ask for?
  • What if the guy I’m with right now doesn’t treasure my child?

These are deep-seated questions . . . but there are answers. Answers that go deeper than a set of bullet points on a blog. We are here to help you work through these tough questions. Come in and spend some time talking them over with one of our advocates.

This Christmas, let us give you the gift of being treasured. When would you like to come in? Make an appointment today.

 Sometimes kids feel like buried treasure: no one has bothered to reveal their worth. What have you done–or seen others do–that made a child feel valuable? Share your thoughts below.

 

Looking for a good book on this topic? Try Words Kids Need to Hear by David Staal, Zondervan.