Don't Wait Till Your Child is 42 to Say "I'm Proud of You." | Couple's Net | Chandrama Anderson | Palo Alto Online |

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By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ...  (More)

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Don't Wait Till Your Child is 42 to Say "I'm Proud of You."

Uploaded: May 21, 2022
I was looking through old journals just now. Some of it was painful to remember, some was joyful. One item I came across was a card from my mother congratulating me on graduating college in preparation to go to grad school to become a therapist. (I left college and eventually went to work in high-tech, which I did for 15 years before I went back to school. A person could work her way up without a college degree back in the day.)

The cards says "Congratulations" on the front, and inside she wrote: "I am incredibly proud of you! I know how much effort is required to go back [to school after so long! You are doing GOOD! Much love, M"

I was 42. It was the first time in my life my mother told me she was proud of me . . .

I hope you are telling your kids, your partner, and those you love and care about that you're proud of them. I hope you're saying I love you, and saying in detail why you think s/he's an amazing person.

My husband is retiring on Friday. I am so excited to spend a lot of time with him. He says, "I'll carry your books" meaning supporting my writing, publishing, and promotional efforts. He believes in me, in my book series, I Do, I Don't: How to Build a Better Marriage. He's going to come along with me when I promote my book(s). He tells me he's proud of me; again today, in fact.

It's not hard to be kind. It's not hard to pay attention. It's not hard to say I love you, or I'm proud of you. You have to choose to do so.

It takes 66 days to create a habit. By August first, you'll be on a roll!




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Comments

Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community,
on May 21, 2022 at 4:32 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

The first time I remember my mom telling me she was proud of me I was in the first grade. I won "Student of the Week." I don't know if it was the first time she told me, but it's the first time I remember. She continued to tell her kids whenever she was proud. It's important.


Posted by MyFeelz, a resident of Juana Briones School,
on May 23, 2022 at 2:56 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

My mom was a complex person (read: undiagnosed mental illness, primarily depression). Her pet phrase was "shame on you" when one of my siblings did something that she disapproved of. I know I must have done something right, because she never said it to me. One of my sisters, who heard it a LOT, says it so often it has become her mantra. I don't know how I learned to say "I love you" to my mom but she learned to say it back to me. I don't know if she ever said it to any of my siblings. Being able to say it out loud and mean it, I do understand. I don't think my mom ever did. And I don't need any trophies for this but I am almost certain that nobody else ever told my mom that she was loved. She was ill all her life and I hope a little bit of love helped her in some way. PS your articles always make me think, but this one also made me cry. A good cry.


Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on May 25, 2022 at 7:49 am

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Jennifer, thanks for telling us about your mom's lifelong spoken pride in you. If you would be willing to share, how do you think that impacted your life?

MyFeelz, I don't know how you learned to say "I love you" at all. Maybe another loving adult in your family, or a great teacher? I'm glad you found ways to overcome "Shame on you." I am glad to hear that my articles make you think. Crying is healthy, too.


Posted by MyFeelz, a resident of Juana Briones School,
on May 25, 2022 at 5:45 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

I learned it from a neighbor's mom (and her husband). I was her feral unnofficial child that she managed to tame. She had four boys, but she always had time for me. Even after I became an adult. I remember in 2003 I was road tripping and realized I was near their "winter home" in Florida. I stopped by, knocked on the door and it was like I never left. LA made the guest room ready for me and I was a kid all over again. Just enveloped in the sweet smell of the sheets covering me, and the soft mattress that felt like it was made out of fresh feathers. I barely slept. I spent the whole night writing a letter to her and her husband, citing all of the kindness and love that they were always willing to offer, and how it had changed my life. When her husband read it in the morning, he got a tear in his eye and choked out the words, "that's a keeper." He gave me one of his giant bear hugs that are unforgettable. Now that I'm an old person, and perceived to be a bi*ch, I think to myself, "How awful I could have really turned out to be, if not for LA and RA." And now in response to your article more fully, I think I have been faithful to the cause of letting people know how important they have been in my life at any and every age.


Posted by RobertD., a resident of Bridle Creek,
on May 26, 2022 at 6:33 pm

RobertD. is a registered user.

Great topic!


Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community,
on May 27, 2022 at 5:23 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

Chandrama, my mom's spoken pride of her children reminded me that she loved us and her pride in me gave me confidence.


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