The Nancy Armato Rule
Antonina’s mother, Nancy Armato, is the ultimate child greeter. She smiles and beams and bursts with pride at the sight of her three children and her six grandchildren. No child who enters her home has any doubt whatsoever that he or she is completely welcome-there is no room for doubt.
Grandma Nancy’s hugs, kisses, compliments, questions about new toddlers toys or shoes, recognition of a sterling report card, or her recalling a goal in a recent soccer game-all are part of her fabulous greeting. Every child gets his moment.
The children around her respond in kind. They feel so loved and welcomed by her that it literally and physically changes them. They open to her like roses bathed in the warmth of the morning sun. She adds a patina of grace to their lives when each one realizes they have given her reason to smile.
Watch your son walk into a room. What is the first thing he does?
He looks around at the faces watching him walk in. He is instinctively searching for the visual cues that tell him that he is welcome and a part of the family, that he is loved and wanted, and that he was missed while he was gone.
The easiest and simplest way to give him the approval and welcome he seeks is to smile when you see him. A smile instantly sets him at ease. A smile says, “Yes, I love you.”
A frown, or only a grunt of recognition, faint praise, or sheer disinterest, sends a message of dismissal.
Let your son feel welcome from the first moment he sees you. Let him know that he is loved and important to you, always and forever. When you see him, smile, and leave no doubt that at that moment he is the most important person in your world.
Excerpted from Parking Lot Rules & 75 Other Ideas for Raising Amazing Childrenby Tom Sturges Copyright © 2008 by Tom Sturges. Excerpted by permission
of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights
reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted
without permission in writing from the publisher.