Celebrating our kids’ hard work
At the beginning of summer, my daughter swam across the pool for the first time on her own. Although we swim pretty often during the summer, she’s been nervous about it for a while. Every time we went to the pool, my husband and I would individually work with the kids on their swimming. After lots of freaking out, my daughter finally swam by herself. It was a big deal and something she had worked hard for.
We really celebrated her swimming. We cheered and clapped and sent a video to Daddy at work. On the way home, she was so happy she said it felt better than when she lost her first tooth. I told her it felt better because it was something she had worked toward for a long time. After dinner, Carlos told the kids we were taking them to Dairy Queen to celebrate because Eden had worked very hard to accomplish this. We were going to celebrate her hard work.
It is easy to celebrate our kids’ accomplishments, but in our house, we’re very intentional about focusing on the fact that those accomplishments came from working hard, even when it wasn’t fun. Whether it is learning to swim, a dance recital, or moving on to the next grade in school, all of those things took work to get there.
Maybe celebrating their hard work means leaving a note on their pillow, letting them know you noticed their accomplishment and how hard they have worked. Or maybe it is a note saying that even though they didn’t do what they had hoped to accomplish, you still saw how hard they worked and that you are proud of that. Maybe it is ice cream after learning to swim.
It can be as simple as having a special plate that only gets used when we celebrate a child. It may be used for birthdays, accomplishments, or any other day that one person needs to be singled out for. We use a plate I got years ago from Pampered Chef, but I know a family that just has one bright red plate. When the family sits down for a meal, if someone has that bright red plate they know they are being celebrated.
It doesn’t matter how your family chooses to acknowledge and celebrate hard work, it just matters that it doesn’t go unnoticed.
After celebrating Eden’s hard work at Dairy Queen, she said she was glad she had kept working at her swimming even though it was hard. I told her to remember that so the next time she is trying to do something hard she will remember how good it felt when her hard work paid off. That is a mindset I want to instill in my kids.
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