Colton looked forward to his parents’ visit. He hadn’t seen them in almost two years. He’d saved up some small fix-it tasks to do with his dad. In the past this was their way of connecting, but his last few conversations with his father had not gone well. It’s not that they argued. Something just didn’t seem right.
As the two men worked side by side around the loft, Colton experienced frustration when he tried to talk about his life. Now 27, Colton wanted to show his father the kind of life he’d created for himself so his father would be proud. And his father was proud. But for Colton it was another unsuccessful attempt to get his father to show pride and express love in a way he could feel.
We miss hearing words of approval.
Some of us know we will never receive genuine acceptance from certain important people in our life. We know we will never hear their words of approval. Either they don’t cherish us as valuable or they, like Colton’s father, don’t possess the necessary skills to find the actions and words to express their esteem in ways we can receive them. Maybe they are mentally ill, passed away, a missing person, psychologically unfit, or brain damaged by an accident.
One of the most powerful ways of reversing rejection we’ve received as children is to give genuine acceptance to others. We seek to learn new words, experiences and rituals—precisely what this blog series is designed to provide. Each week we offer a section of activities to bless children immediately. Share your results or ideas in the comments section.
Ways to bless children right now
- With a young child, read The Velveteen Rabbit, which talks about how valuable we are.
- Put a loving note on the child’s pillow.
- Take the child and a friend out for a special treat.
- Make and keep a promise.
Note: The concept of the blessing, along with Colton’s story and some of the ideas under “Ways to bless children right now,” are taken from John Trent’s book The Blessing.
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