How to Make Your Child Being the Guest of Honor


Nothing makes a person feel more important than being elevated to the position of “guest of honor” by those he or she loves and values.

“You are cordially invited,” read the elegantly hand­written invitation, “to a dinner in your honor.”

This was the message on a ribbon-tied scroll handed to Jamie when he arrived home from soccer practice.

The reason for the honor? Jamie’s excellent report card had arrived in the mail earlier that day. It was the best report card Jamie had ever earned; it marked the successful conclusion of a period of serious study and hard-to-come-by concentration on homework assign­ments, a major feat for a boy who would rather be kick­ing a soccer ball than studying history.

Happy Child

To mark the event, Jamie’s mother brought out the family’s best china, crystal, and silver from the dining room cabinets. She set the table with linens and cande­labra. She fixed Jamie’s favorite foods: hot dogs, potato chips, baked beans, and chocolate cake. Hot dogs on a silver platter? You bet. Potato chips in a crystal bowl? Absolutely.

Jamie’s father offered a “toast” at the beginning of the meal. With apple-juice-filled glasses, Jamie’s brother, mother, and father, all raised their glasses in honor of Jamie. His father gave a little speech and men­tioned Jamie’s excellent report card during the blessing before the meal began.

The message of the evening was brought home clearly with a two-line conclusion to the meal from Ja­mie’s mother: “Special accomplishments deserve spe­cial recognition, Jamie. We’re proud of your special ac­complishment.”

(Jamie, of course, didn’t have to help clear the table or load the dishwasher, which may have been his favor­ite part of the entire event).

According to Jamie twenty years later, that evening was one of his most satisfying childhood experiences. “It was the first time I realized I could accomplish something that other people openly acknowledged as important. It was a growing-up point.”

Of course a parent need not go to such lengths to make a child feel special. Betty has a family heirloom plate that she positions occasionally at one of her chil­dren’s established places at the dinner table. The ap­pearance of that plate signifies a reward, and the dinner menu includes one or more of the child’s favorite dishes. The most recent occasion? A no-cavity report from a visit to the dentist’s office.

A child’s self-esteem—the understanding that he or she has value and worth—is built up every time a child is recognized as special and counted as important.

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About the Author: Roberta Southworth is a psychiatrist by profession. She likes to help out people by writing informative tips on how people can to solve their family and relationship issues. She is currently staying in Ireland. She has 5 years of couple counseling experience.

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