Preparing to Speak for Your Children -Advocate for Your Children

4 Smiling African American children and teh words Preparing-to-Speak-for-Your-Children and cover of teh book How t5o Advocate for Your Childress

It is not always easy or natural to advocate for your children. Even parents who know they should advocate for their children don’t always know how to do it. None of that matters. What matters is that every parent can learn to be a good advocate for their children.

By learning to do these three steps and by doing them on a regular basis, advocating for your children will become a habit that is possible for you to keep going your whole life. After all, advocating for your children is a job and a responsibility you will have your whole life. Parents start advocating for their children when they are new babies, just home from the hospital. It is natural for most parents when their children are babies. They say things like, “oooh, isn’t my baby the cutest thing ever, wouldn’t he be great in baby food commercials.” Alternatively, you may hear a mother say, “My little girl is so smart, at seven months old she somehow knows what buttons to push on my smartphone.” If parents continued that type of behavior all their children’s lives it would be a great thing. It would be advocacy.

When it is time for your children to start school there will be numerous opportunities to push your children to succeed, to recommend them for positions, honors, and awards. Many religions put on holiday pageants and programs. These programs need volunteers to play various roles and to do various jobs. These programs are an opportunity to advocate for your child to get a role, to play a part, and to participate. Many communities have contests for writing, sports, and other activities. Contests are another opportunity to advocate for your children – to encourage others to see your children in the best light possible. Be on the lookout at all times for opportunities to recommend and suggest that your children receive special recognition, positions, honors, and awards.

You continue the advocacy throughout their school years as you try special classes at school or interesting extracurricular activities. If you are the coach, teacher, or sponsor for one of your children’s activities, opportunities will arise for leadership positions, chances to represent the group, and to be a spokesperson. When possible, recommend your child for such honors or ask others to do so. It is important to continue to recommend your child for honors and opportunities when you get the chance. Advocacy, like most things, takes practice and is something that you get better at only by doing it on a regular basis. Keep in mind practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. Advocate for your children and keep doing it repeatedly until you are a perfect advocate for your child.

Later when your children are applying to college, you continue to advocate for them as you get recommendations from friends and co-workers. Once the children graduate from college and look for jobs, you still advocate for them as you try to help them to find a job, buy a home, and raise a family. When your children have children of their own, you will still advocate for your children and start advocating for your grandchildren.

Easy Ways to Advocate for Your Children

An important part of advocating for your children is to accept compliments about your children with grace and style. This is a hard thing for many parents to do. For example, a person in line at the bank will tell a father, “Your daughter is such a sweet girl and she does so well in school.”
A great response would be “Thanks, she really is a great girl.” or “We are blessed to have her in the family.” Instead, a father who is not thinking about being an advocate for his daughter will say, “Yes, she is good in school, but she can’t do any of her chores right at home.”

By answering the compliment in this way, the father places doubts about his daughter’s good qualities in the mind of the person giving the compliment. If his daughter is with him when the compliment is given, the father takes what was a good moment for his daughter and destroys it for her. Instead of leaving the bank with a smile and feeling good about herself, the daughter will leave the bank feeling that her father is disappointed with her. The kind words from the person at the bank will leave her mind. What will stay in her mind is the fact that her daddy does not think she is sweet and smart, that he thinks it is more important that she does not do her chores at home.

The interesting thing is that if you asked this father if he agreed his daughter was sweet and smart, he would probably say that his daughter was indeed the nicest, sweetest, and kindest daughter a man could have. He would say that he was proud of her, blessed to have her, and not looking forward to the day she grew up and became an independent woman with a family of her own. It would fill this father’s heart with sorrow and sadness if you explained the harm his response to the compliment caused.

There are as many ways to accept graciously a compliment about our children as there are compliments and children. There are all kinds of good and appropriate responses. A Christian mother might respond, “Thank you for the kind words about my daughter, we are indeed blessed to have her.” A scientific mother might respond, “She does have a lot of good qualities and it is good of you to share that with me.” A silly mother might respond, “She has always been such a cutie patootie.” In other words, there is no one right way to accept a compliment about your children with grace. The important thing is not how you do it, but to do it.

Sometimes it is Hard to Advocate for Your Children.

Some people have a hard time accepting compliments about their children. Planning is a good strategy for parents who have trouble accepting compliments about their children. Everyone has heard the expression “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” If you are one of those people who has trouble accepting compliments for your children, come up with a plan. Take time right now to figure out how you will start accepting compliments about your children with grace.

It might be a good idea to write down responses to the compliments. To use this strategy, write down some responses to compliments about your children. Then every few days go back and read the list aloud. See how the words feel rolling off your tongue. If you can say the words easily, smoothly, and naturally, keep them on the list to use when the time is right. If the words do not roll easily from your mouth, adjust them, play with them, and change them around until they work for you.

Another neat trick for learning to accept compliments for your children with grace is to role-play. Enlist a friend or family member to help you. Practice receiving compliments and responding in the appropriate manner. Try different types of responses – funny, serious, religious, complimentary, etc., until you find a method that works best for you. Find a way of accepting compliments that rolls off your tongue easily and naturally. This practice will help you accept compliments with grace and ease on the spot.

For the most part, you do not know when you will get a compliment about your child or what the compliment will be.  It may seem like a weird thing to do. You may even be uncomfortable doing it at first. That is okay, still do it! Keep doing it until you are good at it. You will feel better about it and your child will love the results.

Even if your children are erefect and amazing in every way, they till need to hear you ompliment them.

Speak about your children in positive terms, not negative ones. This is an important step in speaking for your children. It is hard to speak for your children, to recommend them for things, and to accept compliments about your children with grace if you speak about your children in negative terms. You must learn to and practice speaking about your children in positive terms both when your children are present and when they are not present.

Let us first look at what happens when a child is attractive, intelligent, and talented at a great many things. Some parents find it easy to talk in positive terms about and to a child like this one. Other parents find it hard or unnecessary to talk in positive terms about and to a child like this one. Still, other parents think these children do not need compliments and kind words. You must understand that children who seem to have the whole world in their hands still need parents to speak about them and to them in positive and not negative terms.

Children who are smart, good-looking, and talented at many things need their parents to speak positively and not negatively about them and to them. A reality of life is that childhood is hard. Children who appear to have it all are still children who are moving along the road toward adulthood. They still need to have their confidence boosted, supported, and validated. These children still need to have parents speak about them and to them in positive terms.


When your children are smart, good-looking, and talented at many things, it is often easier to talk about them or to them in positive terms. This is particularly the case when talking about their children to others. After all, how often does a parent with an attractive child hear, “You know, your son is so handsome, he looks just like you.” This is a compliment to both the child and the parent. In this case, it is easy for the parent to speak of the child in glowing positive terms because any positive response the parent gives is actually a compliment to the parent.

Want more help to become the best advocate you can be?

This article is the first of a series of articles exploring the ideas discussed in the book. These articles are designed to help you learn how to so become a successful advocate. Read the articles and click here to get a copy of the book for yourself.

Here are links to all the articles in the series:

  1. Getting Started as an Advocate for Your Children
  2. Support Your Children – That is Great Advocacy
  3. Use Your Work Skills at Home – Advocate for Your Children
  4. Your Children Need to Learn to Advocate for Themselves – Teach Them
  5. Be Your Children’s Best Advocate
  6. Preparing to Speak for Your Children

Your Children Deserve Your Positive Words and Affirmations so Give Them Freely

Fears that talking positively and not negatively about and to children will give them a big head or a false sense of pride should be set aside. Even if these fears have a basis in reality and are a distinct possibility, they should be set aside in favor of speaking positively about and to children. When children grow up without parents who talk about them and to them in positive rather than negative terms those children do not have faith and confidence that their parents will advocate for them. If children do not have faith and belief that their parents will advocate for them, they do not fully believe their parents will support them, fight for them and care for them as much as should be done. It is best to speak positively about and to children because it gives them a sense of parental love and support.

How do I respond to parents who say not speaking about or to their children in positive terms will make their children work harder? I respond that childhood is hard enough, why make it even harder for your children to grow up with a good sense of self and confidence in themselves, your love, and your support.  While it may be good to make children work hard for their own success, we should never make them work hard for our love, support, and kind words. Those are all things that children are entitled to receive merely for being born and for being our children. If you want to be a successful advocate for your children, you must talk about them and to them in positive terms and you must let your children know you do it.

Want more help to become the best advocate you can be?

This article is the first of a series of articles exploring the ideas discussed in the book. These articles are designed to help you learn how to so become a successful advocate. Read the articles and click here to get a copy of the book for yourself.

Here are links to all the articles in the series:

  1. Getting Started as an Advocate for Your Children
  2. Support Your Children – That is Great Advocacy
  3. Use Your Work Skills at Home – Advocate for Your Children
  4. Your Children Need to Learn to Advocate for Themselves – Teach Them
  5. Be Your Children’s Best Advocate
  6. Preparing to Speak for Your Children

Some parents do not talk about and to their children in positive terms because they do not believe their children deserve that kind of treatment. These parents may think their children are unattractive, stupid, or untalented. These parents may think their children have bad behavior. When parents have children who are not attractive, not smart, and not very talented they should still talk about their children and to their children in positive terms. When parents have children that have bad behavior and do not get along with their parents, the parents still must speak in positive and negative terms about their children. There is no child that does not deserve good words spoken about her. Perhaps, if you think your child is not worthy of being talked about or talked to in a positive rather than negative manner, you should work even harder to find a way to talk positively about and to your child, because that child needs it more than other children.

Never forget that anyone can be a great advocate for their children. Stay tuned for the next article in the How to Advocate for Your Children series: Support Your Children.