6 Tips for Perfect Praise This Mother's Day

6. Be personal. Acknowledge how you feel about what your mother did for you. Positive feelings such as happiness, satisfaction, gratitude, pride, pleasure, relaxation, relief, joy, confidence, and competence motivate us to be better. "Thank you so much for offering to drive me to the doctor. I've been scared about this appointment, and having you there will help keep me calm."

More than 150 million greeting cards are exchanged every Mother's Day. It's the number one gift given to mothers, followed by flowers, plants, clothing, jewelry. All the major long-distance companies say Mother's Day is their busiest day of the year. They log 130 million calls compared to a normal Sunday of 90 million. When the U.S. Postal Service did a poll last year, 62 percent of the survey group said they normally visit their mom on Mother's Day.

Think about all the different ways you've appreciated your mother over the years. What kind of gifts have you given her? Preprinted cards? Flowers? Candy? Jewelry? Clothing? I'm sure your mother enjoyed them, but have you ever wondered what she'd buy herself under the same circumstances? In a recent national retailers' poll of mothers, 49 percent of mothers expected flowers; 13 percent said they wanted them. It's presence, not presents, that counts. All of the mothers I interviewed said the flowers and candy and other material gifts were nice, but the gift of spending time with them had the most lasting memory. There were four types of appreciation mothers said they wanted most:

  • Time
  • Kindness in words and actions
  • Captured memories
  • Services that improve the quality of her life

Read more about Mary

Reprinted with permission from Simon & Schuster. My Mother, My Friend: The Ten Most Important Things to Talk about with Your Mother, Fireside Books/Simon & Schuster Trade Paperbacks, April 2001.

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