My older son greeted his daddy after work by showing him the cheetah he had drawn this afternoon. “Good job, Adam,” his daddy said. My younger son rushed to show him the Mega Block tower he was working on. “Good job, Caleb,” his daddy said. Then Caleb began another structure that he soon presented for further praise and Adam showed his daddy the Mega Block vehicle he had created. The need for affirmation starts quite young. Among preschoolers, it seems to be easily solicited. And it’s easy for parents to praise them for their efforts and work well done.
But I’m less good at offering praise when there’s no one prompting me to do it, even though I don’t think we ever quite grow out of this need for positive feedback. So I’m making a list of all the people who need to hear more encouraging words from me. At the top of the list is my husband.