I’m proud of you
I’m proud of you
Scott Dunlop
Four small words we do our best to tell our children. Four words that make every effort at school and every personal triumph worthwhile: I’m proud of you.

It’s fine to have your heart swell with pride when you see your child succeeding, and it’s also fine to have that same feeling when there’s nothing especially remarkable going on, just an appreciation of the little person you’re with.

There are some adults who have never had that affirmation from their parents. They grew up in homes where this transaction of appreciation never took place, and, in some cases, that lack is what drives them in their relationships and careers. You don’t need to be Oprah or Dr. Phil to see that.

Can you imagine being a child and having your parent ignore you when you brought home a certificate saying that you were the most helpful child in class that day? Or growing up with fights over reports rather than loving support no matter what the results.

If your kid comes to you with a crayon drawing of you, you’re hardly going to criticise it and mock them over the lack of perspective, right? There’s a correct place for the “everything is awesome” response. (Sorry about that ear-worm!)

I see the pride my children take in their own achievements, whether in the classroom or in grasping some concept which has eluded them. Their eyes glisten with happiness- not to gloat over anyone else, but out of the simple pleasure of personal reward.

When we get home after school, I normally head for the kitchen to cook, but I try and acknowledge when they bring me their drawings and chats about the fun they’ve been getting up to. They’ve saved up all the exciting things to tell me, so it’s not really fair of me to fob them off while I’m chopping onions.

It’s a good thing to encourage others, too. Friends and family. Other parents. Not all of us have someone to whom we can tell our exciting news. There have been times recently when I have so badly wanted to call up my late mum to hear her proud-of-you voice.

I want to teach my kids to hear that voice when they do something well. To recognise that even if I am not around to speak the words, their successes belong to them and they are allowed that moment of secret pride.

We’d love to hear from you: what has been your proudest moment as a parent? What made your heart burst with pride? Send your proud parent story to chatback@parent24.com so that we can share your happiness. You could even win a R250 kalahari.com voucher.

P.S. If you haven’t yet taken our awesome (everything is awesome!) Kids Nation Survey, head on over and check it out. You could win some great prizes!

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