As parents, Ben and I make it a point to tell our kids when they do things that we are proud of them for. Whether it’s milestones they hit, or hearing good feedback from other people, we let them know that we are happy with what they achieve. We also make it a point to tell them that whether the achievement is big or small, we are proud of them.
The school holiday is here and the academics and major achievements are probably at the back of many people’s minds (except kids who are receiving results for major exams.)
With school out, a lot of progammes are going on at many shopping centres. We found out about some ‘live’ shows at Takashimaya and brought the kids to watch them. Today, the mall started the series of Winx Club shows, and my friend and I brought our kids to watch, mainly because one of my friend’s kids like the show a lot. Phoebie has never watched Winx Club before and do not know any of the characters at all.
With the booth for Winx Club merchandise at the side, kids who love Winx Club naturally wanted to buy some toys and other products after the ‘live’ show was over. Following the hype of the ‘live’ show, Phoebie asked if she could get some Winx Club toys.
I knew these are characters that Phoebie is not familiar with at all, and didn’t want to buy her something she would forget after playing with it for a couple of times.
“Phoebie, I know we just watched the ‘live’ show,” I started, “But before that, you don’t even like Winx Club. You never even watched it before until yesterday when I showed you one episode.”
“But I like it now!” She said.
“Phoebie, listen to me. You know Mama will buy you something that you really like, but I know that you don’t know much about Winx Club. You don’t even know the names of the characters from Winx Club. I can buy you something else, I don’t mind. Just not Winx Club because it is something you want just because of the show we just watched,” I explained.
“But… But..” Phoebie tried to say.
“I can let you buy something else but the maximum I will spend today is $20. You have to look at the price tag when you choose, okay? Go choose something you like, just not Winx Club because I know it is not your favourite,” I told her.
“Okay Mum,” she answered, and walked to other toys and started looking at the price tags.
I looked at her as she browsed through the toys, a little surprised that she didn’t throw any tantrum or insist that. I was also surprised that she was seriously checking the price tag on each item she was looking at.
After looking at a number of items, she decided on a sticker book which cost $5.90. We paid for it and went to get some snacks while waiting for our friends.
I decided that I had to tell Phoebie how I felt about her behaviour.
“Phoebie, I want you to know that I am very happy that you listened to me when I told you why I didn’t want to buy the Winx Club toys for you. You didn’t throw a tantrum or scream or cry. You just went to choose something else that you really liked instead. Mama is very proud of you because you listened to instructions and you ended up with something you like instead of something you don’t know much about,” I said to Phoebie.
She was beaming.
“I will also tell Papa about what you did because I think you did very well,” I affirmed her again.
I texted husBenKoh about what happened and he replied, “Good job Phoebie.” I showed the message to Phoebie and I could see she was very pleased with herself.
I wanted Phoebie to know that as her Mum, I notice all big and small things she does well. When I am proud of her, I want to make sure she knows. Sure, an expected tantrum that ended up not taking place isn’t as big an achievement as academic results or things like writing or reading well, but it is a small achievement that contributes to character building.
Pointing out the small things we notice our kids do well shows them that we care about everything they do, whether big or small. Telling them that we are proud of the small achievements is like positive reinforcement to encourage more of these small achievements. Start counting the little things you are proud of your child for.