Hope everyone had a nice weekend and enjoyed a relaxing 4th of July (for those in the States)! We took a little trip to visit family. Those kind of trips--even if they're short--can be so rejuvenating. It just helps to get out of the daily routine and gather some fresh perspective.
One of the reminders I came away with was to enjoy my children more each day. As a friend of mine shared with me in a recent conversation that her mother's parenting advice was to "raise them so you like them." I think it is so easy as moms to focus on our children's faults and weaknesses--those areas where we need to devote extra attention to their character growth, manners and behavior in general. When we spend a lot of time thinking about their flaws and what we need to do to help them, we can all too easily forget to also (and maybe more importantly) look for the good seeds--the areas where they bring a smile to our faces, the places we see them growing in character, the things they do that make us proud that they're our kids.
While we point out and help them work on the negatives in their lives, we need to be sure this isn't all we're doing. We absolutely must be sure to encourage our kids daily. They need to know how much we love them, and that all our "self-help" on their behalf is meant for their good.
So let's help our kids to work on what they need to as we raise them, but don't forget to let them know lots and lots of times in lots and lots of ways that we also like them...a lot.