Regina P Brown
Regina P. Brown, author, instructor, speaker, trainer for the following topics: Real Estate, Entrepreneurship, Small Business, and Writing.
When the Child Encourages the Parent
By Regina P. Brown
Did you know you can make a positive difference in someone’s life with your kindness? Just a simple handshake, a hug, or a kind word. We all long to be acknowledged, accepted, and appreciated. People who don’t receive positive emotional sustenance become mean and grumpy, don’t they!
My Grandma Sue, from the German old country, grew up in harsh living conditions during the depression. Finances were scarce and resources were non-existent. Her parents and grandmother were extremely strict. There were never rewards or kind words, only discipline and punishment. It makes me sad to think that she probably never received a warm embrace, a kiss on the cheek, or even a loving pat on the back during her entire childhood.
As the oldest in her family, she was forced to quit school early so she could work on the family farm and take care of her brothers and sisters. She cooked, sewed, cleaned, washed the laundry, and fed the animals. She diligently supported the family, and eventually her younger brothers were able to attend college. Instead of celebrating their success, she became resentful and her life festered into bitterness.
Fast forward 40 years. It didn’t sit well with her youngest daughter, my mom, to have a cold, blunt, rude mother. My mom was a premature baby, had no father around, and needed emotional affirmations. She suffered the consequences of rejection, humiliation, and negative words when all she wanted was a smile and a hug. It took my mom many years to recognize the negative pattern and begin reversing it.
Grandma Sue did not acknowledge holidays, or even her children’s birthdays. But instead of pouting on her birthday, my mom initiated the phone call. She would thank Grandma Sue for being a good mother and giving all that she had to give, to her family. She would reminisce about memories and find words to compliment her mom. Truly a mature effort from a daughter who had never received a kind word.
I’m sure that Grandma Sue was stunned when she was complimented. It is disarming to speak kind words to others who have nothing positive to say! Any negative reprimands were halted. She didn’t know how to respond because of her tough childhood upbringing.
Perhaps your parents didn’t give you the love or kindness or acceptance you felt that you needed. Why don’t you reverse that negative family trend by giving your parents the very things you feel were missing? As long as they are alive, it is not too late to hug your parents, hold their hands, and speak encouraging words to their souls. If you are a child, you have the power to reach out to your parents. Don’t wait for them to connect. They may not have the ability or even recognize the need.
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. So take a moment each day to reach out to those you care about with kind words, loving touches, and a positive smile that says, “You’re a wonderful person.” Make it a habit to say something encouraging and kind to each person.
If you believe in the power of prayer, that is splendid. But next time your friend or family member shares their problems with you, don’t say, “I’ll be praying for you Sis.” Rather, take their hand in yours and ask if you can pray together now. Do not simply say that you care and go on with your life. Take time and show that you care.
Can’t seem to find the right words to say? Maybe it’s because you grew up like Grandma Sue, with no positive words coming your way. For those of us, it’s especially hard to give compliments. In 2016, I resolve to get in the habit of saying something kind to every person with whom I communicate. Will you join me in this challenge of creating a new good habit with kind words every day?
Attached is my carefully selected collection of affirmations you can practice incorporating into your daily communication. Enjoy these encouraging expressions! What are your favorite phrases? What else can you think of?