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Up High, Down Low – ONE simple method to celebrate your kids each week!

Up High, Down Low – ONE simple method to celebrate your kids each week!

When your house rolls seven deep, it’s tough enough to make sure everyone is still alive at sundown.

It’s even tougher to ensure that the more important family-building, “good parenting” stuff gets done too, especially in recognizing and celebrating each individual child.  And not only that, if we’re not careful, we can go in a very opposite direction.

“Don’t you ever close the door behind you?”

“Stop touching your brother.”

“ENOUGH with the noise!”

In order to turn the tide in our own family, we started creating space to specifically and publicly celebrate each child. We added “High Fives” to our weekly family meeting as a way to celebrate those moments when the kids really did play together nicely or show perseverance on the soccer field or actually stay in bed at bedtime. During High Fives, anyone can raise a hand and offer a shout-out to another family member. We encourage the kids to think back on the week and high five anyone who has done a great job, particularly in living out our family values.

I want to high-five Marcus for helping me pick up my legos yesterday.

I’d like to high-five Emily because she showed toughness when she got hurt on the playground.

High five to mama because she made us a yummy lunch.

Here’s why you should look to add this to your weekly routine – be it in a family meeting, long car ride or simply once a week at dinnertime:

Positive specific praise shows love and builds confidence.

I don’t care if you’re seven or seventy-seven, a genuine compliment feels great. In fact, words of affirmation are so powerful that they’re one of the five main love languages Gary Chapman identifies in his national best-selling book, The 5 Love Languages. It’s a proven way to express and experience love.

When one of our children hears a high-five is coming at them, the change is visible: he sits up a little taller and wry, proud smile spreads across his face. It reinforces family values.

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We have five family values that we talk about on a weekly basis with our kids. Even the four-year old can identify and give examples for the values because our high fives reflect them. “Cam showed me love (one of our values) yesterday because she played with me in her room.” These values aren’t just random words posted on some hipster typography canvas hanging in our home (although we’re suckers for typography art). Our kids know what they are and why they are important to our family . . . even if they don’t model this behavior all the time. Simply knowing is step one.

It encourages positive language between siblings.

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    Not only do high fives encourage the kids to think positively about each other during the week, but they’re also learning how to respectfully interact with one another. Most children tend to be kind and respectful to people they don’t know, but it’s not necessarily the same with their siblings. Sometimes they’ll have to dig pretty deep (and it’s usually pretty funny) to find something high-five worthy, but the act is worth the effort even if it’s not the most poetic praise. Also, it’s one thing when mom says you done good, but hearing it from a sibling makes it extra special.

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    Parents can celebrate each other.

    It’s important that kids 1) realize how much both mom and dad do for them and 2) hear mom and dad loving each other. Equally important is that the other spouse hear words of appreciation because we know it will rarely come from the kids. This models a loving marriage for your children, and it also reminds them just how much mom or dad sacrifice for them. In turn, your kids will tend to reflect gratitude a wee bit more for you throughout the week. We take what we can get, yes?

    Whether you insert them into a weekly family meeting or simply do a few rounds at dinner each week, high fives are an easy way to love and value your kids. It provides a simple framework for the kind of intentional parenting that we all know is vitally important but often gets swallowed up by the busyness of kids and work and life.

    Even just talking about high fives makes you want to give one, right? Go catch a kid doing something good and celebrate it!

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    Published on April 9, 2021

    50 Single Mom Quotes On Staying Strong And Loving

    50 Single Mom Quotes On Staying Strong And Loving

    Being a mom is not easy. Being a single mom is even more challenging. Having children means you are on the job 24/7. Even while you are sleeping, you are still ready to wake at the slightest peep because that is what moms do.

    Moms, especially single moms, need more people cheering them on. Your love and care matter to your kids. You are their superhero. I think single moms are superheroes, too.

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    The quotes below are words of encouragement for all of the single moms out there. Keep up the great work! Your hard work will pay off. Someday, they will be grown up and living on their own. Your job will never truly be done as a mom, but you can pat yourself on the back today and every day for doing mom duty day in and day out.

    Here are 50 single mom quotes to encourage all the single moms out there.

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    1. “Being raised by a single mother, I learned to appreciate and value independent women.”—Kenny Conley
    2. “As a single mum you’ll discover inner strengths and capabilities you never knew you had.”—Emma-Louise Smith
    3. “One thing I know for sure – this motherhood thing is not for sissies.”—Jennifer Nettles
    4. “Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving.”—Gail Tsukiyama
    5. “And one day she discovered that she was fierce and strong, and full of fire and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears.”—Mark Anthony
    6. “She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn’t take them along.”—Margaret Culkin Banning
    7. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”—Alice Walker
    8. “Everyone has inside of her a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be, how much you can love, what you can accomplish, and what your potential is.”—Anne Frank
    9. “Doubt is a killer. You just have to know who you are and what you stand for.”—Jennifer Lopez
    10. “You are more powerful than you know; you are beautiful just as you are.”—Melissa Etheridge
    11. “Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing.”—Ricki Lake
    12. “You don’t take a class; you’re thrown into motherhood and learn from experience.”—Jennie Finch
    13. “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”—Oprah Winfrey
    14. “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”—Charlotte Brontë
    15. “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”—Nora Ephron
    16. “When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier.”—Diane Von Furstenberg
    17. “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”—Margaret Thatcher
    18. “Women have discovered that they cannot rely on men’s chivalry to give them justice.”—Helen Keller
    19. “Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles.”—Sharon Jaynes
    20. “Success, they taught me, is built on the foundation of courage, hard work, and individual responsibility. Despite what some would have us believe, success is not built on resentment and fears.”—Susana Martinez
    21. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”—Maya Angelou
    22. “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”—Ayn Rand
    23. “God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”—Rudyard Kipling
    24. “The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because stuff worked out. They got that way because stuff went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those women are my superheroes.”—Elizabeth Gilbert
    25. “There will be so many times you feel like you failed. But in the eyes, ears, and mind of your child, you are a SUPER MOM.”—Stephanie Precourt
    26. “Motherhood is the ultimate call to sacrifice.”—Wangechi Mutu
    27. “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”—Maya Angelou
    28. “A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.”—Princess Diana
    29. “There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.”—Jill Churchill
    30. “There’s no doubt that motherhood is the best thing in my life. It’s all that really matters.”—Courtney Cox
    31. “I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.”—Mitch Albom
    32. “I have found being a mother has made me emotionally raw in many situations. Your heart is beating outside your body when you have a baby.”—Kate Beckinsale
    33. “Single moms, you are a doctor, a teacher, a nurse, a maid, a cook, a referee, a heroine, a provider, a defender, a protector, a true Superwoman. Wear your cape proudly.”—Mandy Hale
    34. “I’m not really single. I mean, I am, but I have a son. Being a single mother is different from being a single woman.”—Kate Hudson
    35. “Being a single parent is twice the work, twice the stress, and twice the tears but also twice the hugs, twice the love, and twice the pride.”—Unknown
    36. “For me, motherhood is learning about the strengths I didn’t know I had, and dealing with the fears I didn’t know existed.”—Halle Berry
    37. “A single mom tries when things are hard. She never gives up. She believes in her family, even when things are tough. She knows that above all things… a mother’s love is more than enough.”—Denice Williams
    38. “You do the best you can. Some days you feel really good about yourself and some days you don’t.”—Katie Holmes
    39. “I would say to any single parent currently feeling the weight of stereotype or stigmatization that I am prouder of my years as a single mother than of any other part of my life.”JK Rowling
    40. “Just because I am a single mother doesn’t mean I cannot be a success.”—Yvonne Kaloki
    41. “I didn’t plan on being a single mom, but you have to deal with the cards you are dealt the best way you can.”—Tichina Arnold
    42. “Nothing you do for children is ever wasted.”—Garrison Keillor
    43. “A single mom tries when things are hard. She never gives up. She believes in her family, even when things are tough. She knows that above all things, a mother’s love is more than enough.”—Deniece Williams
    44. “Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.”—Meryl Streep
    45. “Having kids—the responsibility of rearing good, kind, ethical, responsible human beings—is the biggest job anyone can embark on.”—Maria Shriver
    46. “Mother is a verb. It’s something you do. Not just who you are.”—Cheryl Lacey Donovan
    47. “A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dates all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.”—Agatha Christie
    48. “A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.”—Princess Diana
    49. “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”—W.R. Wallace
    50. “Being a mother is the greatest blessing and the hardest challenge in all of life.”—Dr. Magdalena Battles

    Final Thoughts

    Single moms are remarkable women. They are to be respected and honored for all that they do. If you know a single mom, then share this article with them. Tell them “you are doing a great job as a single mom.” They need our encouragement and support.

    They may be parenting alone, but it is good to let them know that there are people in their life who care for them. We can all be there for the single moms out there. Even if it is just to say, “keep up the great work, you are an amazing woman!”

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    If you are a single mom, keep up the good work! You are amazing, and your kids are lucky to have you!

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Dummer via unsplash.com

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