Small acts of kindness, a word or a gesture, making a difference … or simply connecting with others. Do you keep your eyes averted when walking down a street? Or do you smile at the people you pass by? Do you avoid contact with strangers, or do you catch their eye and hand out random compliments? My girls roll their eyes sometimes when I compliment a passerby on their sweater, or a nice hair cut. “That color looks lovely on you” never fails to give someone a smile. A little feel good moment. (more…)
Her hair glistens auburn and I think, You’re so pretty.
She cracks a clever joke and I respond, You’re so funny.
She completes her assignment and I smile, You’re so smart.
On the surface these are words of love meant to hold her close. But digging a little bit deeper and thinking a titch more long-term, these are impossibly high standards that no one –no one– can live up to.
I learned this lesson in college when I studied how efficiently words mold.
I learned it again in graduate school when I read everything that I could get my eyes on about self-esteem.
I learned it yet again as a teacher when I took courses about building student confidence.
And I forgot it all once I became a mother. (more…)