“I See You”—My Precious—Advent Calendar
In the hugely successful movie, Avatar, the creatures greet each other with, “I see you.” They might not always share the look of love, but love is spelled L.O.O.K.
Kids crave it. “Watch me, Mom!” “Daddy, look at me!” To notice what someone else does, to listen to them (it means being quiet oneself), and to appreciate their moods shouts, “I love you.”
The “I See You”—My Precious—Advent Calendar gives parents just the opportunity to show the children that they are paying attention.
Download directly or read on.
It’s simple. Home Is Fun made seasonal decorated cards on which parents can write a personal message of affirmation to their children.
In an idea world (and one designed by Martha Stewart), there would be an elaborate presentation set up. We have seen this work wonders with a ribbon and clothes pins. Wrap up a candy, slip on the card, and hang it up on the ribbon-line. It’s the content that counts loads more than the presentation.
Again, in an ideal world, all of the cards would be written in advance. In case you don’t have 24 affirmations handy, you can write one every day until Christmas. Just in time takes on new meaning.
- Prepare a looooong red ribbon and drape it across a window . Secure ends well since the 24 treats will be hanging from this ribbon. (Alternatively drape two or three ribbons and divide up the packages between them.)
- Wrap up 24 mini treats: a chocolate Santa, a peppermint candy, a gold-colored pen... and hang these from the ribbon.
- Every day, add the personalized card that you wrote for your child.
In my coaching with families, I challenged one mother to find one positive thing to tell her child every day. She reported the “progress” the following evening, “I can’t! He doesn’t do ANYTHING right!!!!” Maybe you occasionally feel that way too. (I have.)
What we look for is what we see. Sometimes, because we're searching for something else, we even miss the obvious.
Where are your eyes focused? The bad, the ugly, or the good? Are you stuck on one perspective?!
Step by Step
Where to start? No matter what your family situation, the choices are plentiful. Imagine that you are on the top of the Arc of Triumph the Etoile in Paris. Streets go off in all directions. Take one step on any of those avenues, from the Champs Elysées to Avenue Friedland, and you’ll soon be enthralled in the window and people watching. All it takes is the first step.
If, like my friend, you’re at your wits’ end, notice your child interacting with other people. School administrators, teachers, friends might provide perspective. With this family, the school administrators believed in their son’s potential and friends roared at his jokes. That’s content for sweet notes for two days!
Day 1: “I am thankful for the encouragement from teachers in your school who see your potential.”
Day 2: “I love to see you laugh with your friends...and that you are the one who ignites their sense of humor.” (For Christmas, give him the gift of ignoring how he fuels the fire of your frustration.)
Download this Super Many Gifts Advent Calendar for additional ideas. Every day addresses a different aspect of a person’s life. Is your child healthy? Does he have a good appetite? For the moment, ignore the fact that he leaves a mess behind him when he snacks between meals. For now, write “I’m thankful that you have a healthy appetite and that we can provide you with enough to eat.” Does she call you “unfair”? Then she treasures a sense of justice. Jot down, “We might not always see eye to eye on issues, but I do notice that you have a strong sense of justice. Values make a difference in life and I’m glad you are shaping yours.”
Speak without Talking
As your child catches on that you see her worth (be assured she already knows Mom and Dad see her faults!) and the ice around a relationship begins to melt, she’ll warm up to comments about changing behavior. First speak your love by looking.