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You might ask what is Affirmation and why do we need it? Well we all need it both from others and from ourselves. We need to know that we are valuable and good at things.
I know that it is hard in a society that has so few healthy examples of affirmation in their media. We do have some really healthy models in Feature Films for Families and The Janette Oak series of healthy happy working together families that help each other and show each other that they value them as a person.
I think that the hardest thing for me is to remember to do it for my children. I think they are wonderful but I don’t always remember to tell my oldest you are so strong, bright, gifted, such a good runner, so considerate of little people, such a great protector of your brother, you are wonderful at trying to be funny and telling jokes and making people laugh. I am so glad you want others to be happy. I am so glad you have such a terrific imagination.
I forget with my youngest too but he has a habit of reminding everyone that he needs affirmation and is quite willing to demand it. This does not always make him popular but I am glad he is willing to ask for both affection and affirmation. He has always been a cute, cuddly, vivacious child that is curious about everything and not very afraid of anything. He is the child that jumped off the playhouse and bit a hole almost completely through his toung. This is also the child that put baking soda all over his bed playing in a box of it. He has been both wonderful and exasperating. I love him dearly and do a better job of telling him he is wonderful because he demands it.
I think back over my own life and how many wonderful people God had put in my life to tell me that I am valuable. I remember the first time I did the exercise that allowed me to tell others good things about them in writing and have them say nice things about me in return. I have come to enjoy this exercise and think that it is very healthy for many groups. I have also realized that I want to take the time to thank and praise the people God has allowed me the privilege of having friendship with.
There are several ways to affirm people one is through actions and affection. We tell people we value them by expressing a desire to spend time with them and thanking them for spending time with us. We also enjoy those moments when good friends meet and hug with no words exchanged. We can even affirm people through a kind look or a smile.
Another way to affirm people is to give them a note or a card that they can enjoy your words or the words you have chosen for them. I always wondered at my dad’s love for large beautiful cards with wonderful sayings in them. He was not an extravagant man but He did like to get a nice big card on occasion for people.
Gifts are a way we tell people that we value them. We give a flower here or a box of fruit there. I like chocolate so tend to give it to other people. I sometimes wonder if it would not be better to come up with something that individual likes instead. I like to give seeds to people who like to garden. I like to give flowers people can plant to people who enjoy planting flowers.
I owe much of what I have accomplished or will accomplish to the people who believed in me as a child and found value in me. It was something that I valued more and more as I got older. We will always have plenty of people around that are willing to be negative and tell us our faults. It is good to cherish and foster relationships with those who are willing to appreciate us for who we are and what we have to offer.
I recently read a book that I enjoyed very much. The book is written by a set of twins and is called Struggling for Wholeness. It was a wonderful reminder to me of many of the struggles I have had. The authors take turns telling about things in their lives that they struggled with. They are both wonderfully successful middle aged women. They still struggle with all the same value issues that most of us have. What is better is that they talk candidly about how they feel and where they have been able to heal. The book was a wonderful reminder to me that all of us struggle and need affirmation.
I hope this article inspires you to express value to several people in your life. I also hope that it inspires you to take the time to affirm the children that touch your life.