Finding the Time to Say What Means the Most

parentsMy husband and I attended a friend’s daughter’s Bat Mitzvah this weekend.  We always enjoy these services, but the most meaningful and special part for me is toward the end of the service when each parent tells their child how special they are and what a fine person they are growing into, and retells special family moments.  It almost seems like a private moment between this trio of individuals, which an entire temple full of people get to observe.

It’s what we all say we should do often with all of those around us who are special – expressing just how and why each individual in our lives is so meaningful to us.  But when it comes down to it, it just doesn’t always happen for whatever reason. I think we’re all good at handing out praise when our children have done well, and saying “I love you,” but the deep heart felt prose that takes some reflection probably does not happen easily or often enough.

Sure, I try to write a few special and meaningful sentences in birthday cards and Valentine cards, but still, it’s just not the same thing.  So as I sit here, I try to figure out how I could incorporate, in a most special way, a more regular practice of letting my children in particular know just how much I love them and how special they are.  It strikes me that around the Thanksgiving table might be a wonderful way of creating a new tradition that gives thanks to those around us.  We certainly do that now, but not in any specific, personally touching way.

What about you?  Has anyone had the occasion to prepare in great depth special commentary about their children?  Graduations and weddings are certainly ample opportunities, but how nice to be able to do it as they’re growing.

Let me know if you have any thoughts.


  • Elaine Says:
    4-13-2010 06:47:06

    I’m reading a really good book called Drive by Daniel Pink. It talks about what we THINK motivates us (traditional carrots and sticks) and what really motivates us. He shares studies that show when we work at something in order to receive a reward, our motivation and productivity are dampened. In contrast, unexpected (and often verbal!) rewards have a significant and positive impact.

    My take-away? It’s the impromptu words of praise or acknowledgment to our kids that they remember most.

  • Anne Says:
    4-15-2010 23:21:05

    Thanks Elaine. So I can forgo writing four heartfelt speeches while stuffing the turkey?

    However, any of you who have had or gone to a Bar Mitzvah can’t argue at how special this family tribute is, especially at such a critical and formative time in a child’s life.

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