Post-It Affirmations

An accidental discovery inspired a morning ritual to help send T off to his day on a positive note.

Recently, T was rummaging through office supplies in our cabinet and found post-it notes.

The hubby then drew a word art of T’s name on it. T loved it and carried it with him everywhere, including during the car ride to school and sticking it on his bedroom door.

We’ve had a few rough days the last two weeks: challenging behaviour at daycare and blood curling meltdowns at night.

Yes, we know by now these moments pass, but I am mindful of how responses from others to these moments – including ours – impact T.

Studies have shown that individuals with FASD often have lower self esteem.

T is not lacking in confidence and boldness. But I often think about how his self talk will develop in the long term when he is constantly being called out at school, daycare and home.

Earlier this week, as I was sitting at my desk getting ready for the day, I saw post-it notes.

So I took out markers and drew out the message, “You Are Super! Xoxo, Papa and Daddy” – pictured at the top of this post. I made the “S” in Super like the Superman S.

I gave it to T and asked him to read it – might as well sneak in reading practice. After he read it, I saw a huge smile on his face and he walked out of the room with the note.

I continued getting ready for the morning and as I walked down the hallway, I passed by his bedroom and saw him leaning on his bed looking longingly at the note – for quite a while that I was able to sneak this photo.

This melted my heart.

I love this kid so much – even during the moments when he is driving the hubby and I fucking batshit crazy.

And I want so much for the positive moments in his day to outweigh his challenging ones and for them to be amplified as his inner dialogue.

I added a few more messages over the week.

I want to keep it simple and from the heart.

T asked why I drew a tree on the note above.

I said that the tree was T, growing bigger and stronger each day.

I want to amass positive energy for our T to balance the challenging moments in his day.

Friday was a PA Day, so no school, and T came into my office in the morning as I was working and asked if he could write a note for his two cats.

They have a love hate relationship, so the fact T wanted to do this, instead of antagonizing them, was wonderful.

He came up with and wrote the message and I helped him spell it: “I love you. Xoxo, T, Daddy, Papa.”

I just realized I spelled out Daddy incorrectly.

The cats were hiding under the bed and when T put the note near them, our male cat, Kyrie, started to growl.

Told you, love-hate relationship.

“Did he like it?” T asked.

I paused and thought about how to keep the moment light and positive and I said, “I think he’s a little confused.”

23 thoughts on “Post-It Affirmations

  1. T will never lack confidence because of the way you two are raising him! I love this post as it brought back memories for me. When my daughter was little, I wrote on her napkin that I sent with her lunch every day. She told me she shared the message with all the kids at the table. So one Friday I wrote TGIF. Nobody at the table knew what it meant and she begged me to tell her. Of course I did and she went to school Monday and told everyone. T obviously enjoys your notes just as much and what a great way to keep him reading.

    1. Thanks for sharing this lovely story, Diane. I bet your daughter loved the daily napkin messages. 🙂 I know how you feel about those TGIF days and I bet your daughter says that now as a parent too!

      I will have to write that down one day with T to see what happens!

  2. Such a heartwarming story! Kids are the greatest gifts! They may drive you up the wall sometimes, as you said, but they also swell your heart. I miss my babies’ childhoods. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Cherie. They really are the best gifts, even the hair-pulling lessons. I am always mindful that we only get one childhood together and to cherish it for the good and the challenging. 🙏

  3. Reading this post, watching your Son reading your note, the words, they all melted my heart too. These are the moments that make us appreciate all the more Parenting and Family. Priceless. Thank you.

  4. It’s pretty amazing how something so small like leaving some words of encouragement or a reminder that you’re loved can make such a huge difference. That honestly melted my heart too to see T making a post-it note for your cats. I couldn’t help but laugh at how you responded about them being confused!!

    1. Thanks Linda! Yes, T wanting to make a note for his cats with zero prompting or suggesting from us was a wonderful moment for sure. 😊

  5. I love, love, love how you took a moment and ran with it in such a inspiring and affirming way. Wow, make sure you write yourself a sticky note memorializing that great parenting work!!

    1. Thanks Wynne. It’s a lot of trial and error with T. Most things don’t stick but it’s always worth giving it a try. 😊🙏

  6. Aww Ab, thanks for sharing such an intimate story. Your words along w/ the photo of T melted my heart as well.
    It’s nice discovering new ideas to help motivate T, even something as simple as a sticky note. Without even seeing his face, I could tell he was in deep thought & that tiny gesture of love allowed him to reflect. Such an amazing kid!!!

    1. Thanks Tammy. That moment of him looking at the note killed me, both in a melting my heart way but also in a way where I thought how much hearing something positive stuck with him. If that makes sense.

      And he is an amazing kid indeed! 🙏

  7. I wonder what affirmations work well for cats?

    And isn’t best practice to call people IN instead of OUT?

    And wouldn’t it be good to have an animated tree?

    [I know a few months ago T was working on a stop animation with his favourite toys]

    When I was a young person we had flipping pancakes on various bits of paper and the pancake would move.

    1. Cats need Whiskas treats. It’s the only affirmation they need. 😆

      You have a great memory about the stop motion animation, Adelaide. I’ll have to remember that for the next one!

      I know what you’re talking about with the flipper paper animation trick. What a great idea!

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