Cherish Your Cherubs: Praise

It is week 4 of joining in with the lovely Naomi at Seven Cherubs for the Cherish Your Cherish Project. To date, I have Recorded, Remembered & Interviewed my cherubs. This week’s project was to up the ante in the Praise stakes. I will stop short of saying that this venture was a complete failure. It was definitely more challenging than I anticipated.

I think we are usually pretty good at praising the boys. I’m conscious of developing their self esteem, especially the Wilful One, who can be quite sensitive and takes criticism poorly sometimes (he gets it from his father, I’m sure).  I know how well he responds to praise and positive feedback so I try to employ positive reinforcement with both of them as much as I can. He has a star chart and a rather complex rewards system which he responds well to (he loves complex) and in the evening we reflect on the day with a focus on the positives.

As for Bam Bam, I love it how he is like a puppy when praised. He gets this little body wriggle, just like our dog does when he’s expecting a treat. He’s so often a little terror, it’s a lovely contrast and I really must make more of an effort to bring out the best in my baby boy.

However, it’s a sad truth that our ability to support, cherish and provide a positive environment for our family is intrinsically linked to our own state of mind and sense of well being. In my case, both of have been in poor shape this week. I confess to being very short tempered with the boys. With a head full of ickyness, I’ve been especially intolerant to noise and meaningless chatter. I have caught myself many times talking to the Wilful One in a very critical tone. I’ve always felt horrid afterwards but haven’t been able to stop myself.

Children are so forgiving though, aren’t they? My little-big man knows how sick Mummy has been. Overall, he’s been very patient with me and tolerated my scolding without the narky attitude that has been making an appearance lately (he’s 4 going on 14).  I know he has appreciated when I have managed to acknowledge and praise the times he played nicely with his brother or did what he’s been asked without fuss or heel-dragging.

I have been more mindful of saying sorry to both of them for being a grump and thanking them for their efforts to help mummy out. There have been lots of extra cuddles and “I love you’s”.  It’s so lovely that they realise sick mummies need TLC too.

This week I also braved up and asked a question of the Wilful One which I omitted from the Interview last week. “How am I doing as your mummy & what can I do better?”   His answer: “You are awesome but you could smile more”. Sweet and not surprising given this week.  Noted and taken on board, little man.



  1. It can be so hard. I think we all know that one and have been there. I find kids are so forgiving though, they seem to understand a lot and it is good for them to know that Mummy’s are human too 🙂

  2. Oh, that last comment brings tears to my eyes. About two weeks ago, I was much the same. Being ill and sleep deprivation made it extra hard to see the positives – or be positive for that matter. You’re right: they are so forgivig though. Take it easy and look after yourself. I hope you’re feeling better. xx

  3. So sorry that you have not been feeling well this week. It makes is so much harder to be patient and loving when you cannot even think straight. I love that children are so forgiving and are such a great example to us in that way. I love the answer at the end. Spoken honestly and a great suggestion. I have had that one said to me several times before as well. I get too busy to smile some days. Thanks so much for linking up. N x

  4. Nee, everything you write is so true about how praising is affected by one’s state of mind and how it needs to be a conscious thing. Also true that children are forgiving (which for me is a very good thing). Aw what a wonderful report to get back from the Wilful One!

  5. Good for you Nee for acknowledging how hard it can be to stay positive when you’re feeling so terrible. It can be all too easy to snap and grouch first, make up for it later. But you are so right in saying they are very forgiving. I sometimes feel guilty when I get a hug and “Mummy I love you” from CrashGirl after a particularly ‘shouty’ day.
    Visiting from Cherish Your Cherubs project 🙂

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