WHAT I TELL MY KIDS EVERY NIGHT.

WHAT I TELL MY KIDS EVERY NIGHT.

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Growing up, the word sensitive & I became synonymous. I had sensitive feelings and sensitive skin. What a combo! Anyone else have to wear prescription sunscreen growing up that never absorbed into your body but made you look like Casper for the next eight hours?

Other words were given to me, too, but sensitive stood out because it never felt like a good thing but something I was just stuck with. I always thought life would be better (for everyone) if I could just not be sensitive. If I could stop being sensitive, I would be more fun—lower maintenance—better.

This isn’t anybody’s fault—I guess ironically, part of being sensitive meant I was more intuitive than other kids so I held a lot of things close to heart that were meant to be flippant, inconsequential comments.

It wasn’t until way down the road that I realized many human traits can serve as a strength AND a weakness. Or more importantly, the qualities I thought I was stuck with could actually be used to my advantage. Sensitivity makes room for me to be empathetic. Sensitivity makes room for me to be vulnerable. Sensitivity makes room for me to perceive how the people around me are doing. I would even vouch that sensitivity makes room for creativity because to be creative, you have to feel—both the hard & the good– & sensitive people feel big.

My three kids share some qualities but are opposites in other areas. Growing up, I always wanted to be like my sister. I would have given anything to be the fun, creative one. How much better to a twelve year old does that sound than being thoughtful & responsible? (Or shoot, how much better does that sound to my thirty year old self?!) The thing is, you can be responsible AND creative. You can be thoughtful AND fun. You do not live in a personality box, & while you were born with a set of traits wired into your DNA, you get to choose how you live those out. I want my kids to get that.

So every single night, we have our ritual. We brush teeth & put on pajamas & read a book. We say what we’re grateful for & pray. We sing. And then as we tuck each kiddo in, I lean over their beds & whisper three qualities I see in them. Three qualities I see that have the potential to serve them in a positive way.

You are smart.

You are kind.

You are creative.

And I love you so much. Forever & ever.

You are thoughtful.

You are sensitive.

You are brave.

And I love you so much. Forever & ever.

You are funny.

You are lovely.

You are strong.

And I love you so much. Forever & ever.

We hug & give three squeezes (Blake’s invention), we give kisses, & that’s how we end every night. No matter what our day looked like. No matter how any of us behaved. That’s how we end the night. Because I truly believe that if they hear me speaking those qualities over them, they will believe they are good qualities to have. They will believe they already possess those qualities. They will feel the confidence to act on those qualities when they wake up the next day. And the next. And the next. Even if there was a tantrum or an argument 10 minutes ago—they will hear me tell them they are kind. I always choose the quality of kindness on our harder days because I want them to know I see it in them. I see kindness in their hearts, & they have the chance to choose it tomorrow. I want my kids to fall asleep loving who they were created to be, never wishing they were someone else.

The gift of being a parent is having an enormous role in showing our children the adults they have the potential to become one day. We get to call out their gifts & champion their passions. We get to navigate their weaknesses & teach them how to shift them into positives.

And it’s funny. By doing this with my kids, I’ve since learned to do this with myself. Because your heart hears everything you say to your mind. Seeds are planted with every word you say to yourself, positive or negative. Plant kind seeds.

You are kind.

You are strong.

You are lovely.

2 Comments

  1. Court on March 22, 2019 at 9:01 am

    This was so wonderful. You and your babies are kind, lovely, and strong.
    So beautiful. Thank you for sharing this idea! So thankful your kids have you & Blake!!!

    • Jenna Winegeart on April 8, 2019 at 6:11 pm

      Thank you for reading & responding like you always do, Courtney! Love you!

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