No matter how old, children always enjoy special shouts out to their unique traits and personalities.I believe adults are encouraged by the same thing. Moms have such great insider perspective to our child’s temperament, strengths (and weaknesses), attributes, abilities and emotions. One of the greatest gifts we can give to our children is the simple act of identifying those traits and drawing attention to them. Websters’ definition of encourage is: to inspire with courage, spirit or hope; to hearten; to spur on or to foster or give help. I love the idea of using words to encourage and inspire these very things. In a Huff Post article entitled “The Power of Spoken Words”, Dr. Hyder Zahed claims “words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity.” He relates words with the ability to help and heal, and if used unwisely to humiliate, harm or hurt. (

Valentine’s Day is a time of year where your child’s positive attributes can be dressed up and put on display. I have a friend who writes her kid’s positive character traits on construction paper cut-out hearts and then tapes them to their bedroom doors for the week. I tried this tradition last year and wrote words like gentle, caring, trustworthy, loyal, leader, influencer, artistic and humble on the doors of my kids’ bedrooms. I left the words there, as daily reminders to the kids, for the entire week. The paper hearts reminded them of who they are and, more importantly, how I see who they are too! Siblings can join in on the tradition and each write out or describe a personality trait of brother or sister to then place on their doors.

It’s nice for children to hear how their families and siblings view them. In fact, they will live out the words said about them. Encouraging our kids to know how their special characteristics fit in a world built for them is powerful. They are not square pegs for round holes, but rather unique and beautiful individuals in life’s setting. And what world would not benefit from a future generation who is compassionate, kind, gentle, leaderlike, loyal and caring? So, moms, throw out your words like wild love pats this Valentine’s Day!

“Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.”  — Lady Bird Johnson, Former First Lady of the United States

Photo by Jenny Pace, Unsplash

Aimee Serafin, editor of the Augusta Family Magazine.