Kids can smell a phony a mile away. After I would attempt to build up my children following a disappointment or even an event that went well, my kids used to say, “You’re my mom. You have to say that. You don’t count.” So… I have learned to make my words COUNT.
When we encourage our children, we must be honest.
Often when we give our children words of encouragement, we generalize. We will say, “Good job!” Or “Way to go!” Sometimes we may even fake it, “Oh, you did that really well.” (When they really didn’t.)
Romans 12: 9 gives parents the best advice for speaking words that make a difference. It says, “Love must be sincere.”
Being sincere and specific are the best ways to impact our kids.
“All the colors you used in your drawing really makes the scenery pop. Beautiful.”
Here are four more tips to effectively impact and motivate your children over the course of their lives.
H : Be humble and honest in your approach. Admit you are not perfect. No one can do everything well. You may even want to ask, “What do you think needs improvement?”
E : Show empathy while being effective. Listen to your child when he is expressing frustration with a particular task. Then offer up guidance and show your child how to navigate the experience. “How can I help you?” or “Here is a way in which you can do this.”
A: Express your affection by speaking words of affirmation. Let your child know you have confidence in his abilities, that he is capable. “I know you can manage this task, you possess the quality of determination.”
R: Relate to your child by spending recreational time together. Hang-out and have fun together. Give him the present of your presence.
As parents, we desire to positively influence our children. In order to do so we must be real not “stinky” while we are building them up.
And let’s remember to…. H.E.A.R.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…
1 Thessalonians 5:11a
By Lori Wildenberg, licensed parent and family educator, author speaker, and co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting.
Lori’s 4th and 1st solo book, Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home (New Hope Publishing) will be released May 2017. Lori is the lead mentor mom for Moms Together (a Facebook Community Page) and a contributor to a number of online magazines: Crosswalk.com, The Mom Initiative, Life Notes Cafe, ChristianParenting.org, and Her View from Home. Lori also writes the monthly Family Matters column for Red Rocks Views magazine. Catch Lori’s practical and warm-hearted faith and family blog Eternal Moments every Monday. She is available for speaking, parenting workshops, and parent consulting and coaching. Contact Lori at LoriWildenberg.com.
Click on the links to head over to Amazon to get Raising Little Kids with BIG Love and/or Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love by Wildenberg & Danielson.