It always amazes me how witnessing life, in the real world versus online or television, prompts me to want to write.
Here’s where professional writers laugh at me for just now figuring that out.
But when you write a blog about being a mom, coming up with original material that is helpful to mom readers is tricky.
However, today, while treating my six-year-old to a doughnut after her martial arts test, I witnessed a family treating their own son out for ice cream and I couldn’t help but wonder what the occasion was. The father was staring at his phone for the first few minutes after I noticed them, with his son sitting at his side. The mom sat across from the father.
Neither parent indulged in a treat, not even an iced coffee like I was enjoying. This made me wonder if the small family was struggling financially. If that were the case, this special outing so their son could enjoy his waffle cone filled with chocolate or rocky road ice cream must have been well deserved.
The boy wore glasses, and by the way he spoke to his mom when it was time to leave, he seemed intelligent. He was concerned that he’d make a mess in the car and wanted to stay and finish there.
The father didn’t have any conversation with his son from what I saw, and at one point I caught him with his face buried in his hands. He appeared worried and lost in his thoughts. I thought I saw him rub his eye when he removed his hands from his face, suggesting he was wiping a tear.
I couldn’t see the mother’s face as her back was towards me. But their son seemed to enjoy his ice cream. I’d say the boy was about twelve years old.
I couldn’t help but say a silent prayer for that boy and his family. It’s not everyday that a son is treated for ice cream in the company of parents who seemed mentally preoccupied with life’s worries.
I don’t know what that boy did to deserve his treat today, but I know that his parents must have felt he truly deserved it, and I applaud them for rewarding him amidst one of their life trials.
Watching that family today reminded me how easy it is to allow my own emotions to trump my children’s. If I’m not particularly in the best of spirits, but my child deserves a reward, it can be hard to do right by them and give them the praise they deserve.
Moving forward, I’m going to pay more attention to how my emotions sometimes prevent me from rewarding and praising my children when it’s deserved. As a result, I should be able to separate myself from their need to be praised and congratulated. I know how good I feel when my efforts are recognized and I want nothing less for my kids.
And it took watching this family, not a happier family, for me to come to you about this topic.
If you need more information about how to praise and reward your child, I encourage you to check out this awesome article from A Fine Parent: How to Praise Your Kids the Right Way Without Spoiling Them in the Process
How will you reward your child today?