This meme has been circulating on the internet for a few weeks now. And why do we love it? One, because tacos. Two, because it helps us remember we don’t have to be perfect. We need, and maybe I can’t speak for everyone, but I definitely need this reminder everyday. It helps me to grow from my mistakes and learn what I can do better next time. 

But when was the last time we reminded someone ELSE they didn’t need to be perfect. More specifically, when was the last time we gave our kids permission to not be perfect. Instead of waiting for them to mess up, again- because let’s be real- if we wait for ANYONE to mess up, we will absolutely find their mistakes (please don’t look for mine- you’ll find them-no matter how much I read, and learn, and ask questions). 

What if instead, we looked for our kids accomplishments AS THEY ARE FALLING APART. Woah. I know. It seems ridiculous. But hear me out. What if, we praised our kids for their small accomplishments. What if we sat in the hole with them, instead of offering them a sandwich from above. “You made it through the day with ONE tantrum, instead of two.” “I know we had a yucky moment earlier, and I really appreciate how you were able to calm down and talk to me about your feelings”. “You had a tantrum, and kept your body to yourself”. “Today felt yucky, and you made it through the whole day. And I love you.” And what if we celebrated the mundane unimportant moments. “You’ve been working hard on your homework this week. I appreciate the effort you have put into your school work”.  “I know you’re busy with Xyz, but I just wanted to let you know I’m proud of you and I love you”. “I know this was a tough year, and you never gave up. I’m proud of who you are.” In the mess, those internal negative thoughts are eating your kids alive. What if ONE voice, YOUR voice-spoke life and encouragement to them through their mess-especially when they are not able to do so for themselves. That is where relationship, and attunement, and bonding lives and thrives. Through the mess. Not just in the celebrations. You saw me at my worst, and you still cheered for me. You still believed in me. I didn’t have to DO anything to make you love me and believe in me.  

I know last time we interacted, I put a lot of emphasis on how our actions speak louder than words- but words DO matter. And what if we made our actions {words} cheer and speak life into our kids and our loved ones. 

We do this in sports ALL the time. Have you ever seen a cheerleader stop cheering for their team because they were losing? Neither have I. Better yet- in the stadium- or arena- or at the tank- have you ever stopped cheering for your favorite sports team because they were losing? No way! You may be disappointed in your team- but you don’t abandon them.  Sometimes people leave early, but guess who is ALWAYS at the next game: fans. Because it’s the die hards who show up every time: win, lose, or draw.

We need to have this same sentiment with our kiddos. We need to be their cheerleaders. We need to be their die hards. We need to be our children’s BIGGEST fan: win, draw, or lose. We need to cheer for their accomplishments, cheer for the mundane, cheer for them through the messiness- no matter how small- and don’t stop cheering. Kids- no matter how old, want to know their parents are in their corner. As Brene Brown puts it; in the arena with them, not in the stands looking down at them. 

We love our tacos even when they fall apart, what would it look like to praise, cheer for, and show love to our kids, partners, or loved ones today, even if they’re falling apart? 

The information contained herein is not therapeutic advice nor a substitute for therapy. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any mental health problem. If you are located within the United States and you need emergency assistance please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. If you are located within Colorado you may also call the Colorado Crisis Line at 844-493-TALK (8255).

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