As I’m sure you can tell by now, I’m kind of big into the whole celebrating the little moments in life thing. Looking back over my past, it seems like so many of those “little moments” are now the big ones to me – the important ones that I hold onto in my memory and that make me smile every time. I think it’s important to pass that kind of viewpoint along to children as well – to show them the magic in the ordinary and to show them that they are valued.
Flickr, Dave Bleasdale
When my daughter was little, we started having “red letter days”…celebrations of day to day achievements. I kept these celebrations simple – if they become too much work, it’s easier to just abandon them and they become chores instead of fun. So, we had a red dinner plate that I had written “It’s Your Special Day” on with gold ink (food safe of course). We also had this big white rattan chair – rather ornate and tropical looking that my daughter referred to as the princess chair because she felt like she was sitting on a throne when she sat in it. When my daughter would come home from school with some new achievement, I would pull the princess chair up to the dinner table and she would get to sit in it and eat her dinner from the red plate. No more work than a regular dinner time, but still, this would make her beam from the recognition of her accomplishment.
Flickr, Ava Weintraub Photography
The achievements didn’t have to be anything major – sure it could be that she brought home a great report card or won an award at school but it could also be something like having been asked to read the story she wrote aloud to the rest of the class because the teacher thought it was especially well written or having made an effort to befriend the new kid at school. It could even be in celebration of having been ready for school on time every day or not having lost her mittens for an entire week in winter! The important thing was acknowledging that yes, I had noticed her accomplishment and that I was proud of her in a tangible and memorable way.
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