When was the last time you said something encouraging to your kids? If you’re like me, you probably find it easier to see the wrong behavior and comment on it, than to notice and praise the right behavior. We have to purposefully look for ways to encourage our children.
All kids long to please their parents, and it makes them so happy when they know we are pleased with their behavior and efforts. However, if we fail to let them know when they have pleased us, they will get discouraged and quit trying after awhile.
Encouragement is a vital part of keeping a good relationship with our kids, and is something we need to determine to do on a regular basis.
7 Ways to Encourage Your Children
1. Put a smile on your face, in your eyes, and in your voice.
It’s easy to get in that serious mode, and have a frown on our face, as if we are just waiting for them to mess up. They should see a smile that makes them feel you are happy to see them, and be with them.
Also, the absence of that smile when kids aren’t behaving right, speaks more than your words.
2. Use the “sandwich method” when you need to correct.
For example, “I know you are capable of doing a good job cleaning your room. Leaving these things out though, is not acceptable. Please finish putting everything away, because I’ve seen how nice you can make your room look. Give me your best effort, and show me your best work this time.”
3. Make eye contact with them and show them physical affection in small ways all through the day.
Pat their back or head, rub their cheek, tickle them, hug them, etc.
4. Give verbal praise often!
Be honest, and point to good character. For example, “You sure have been working hard this morning. Thank you for being so diligent!”
5. Brag to your spouse when the child can hear you.
“Susie has shown so much initiative today. She picked up all the toys this morning while I was making breakfast, then set the table for me. She sure is being a good helper!”
6. Give tangible rewards occasionally for encouragement:
*Stickers for good work
7. Encourage every time you see them making an effort to do right.
Even tough your kids may not make a total improvement in an area that you have been working on with them, if they show even a little improvement or make an effort, be sure to notice and praise them for it. A little encouragement goes a long way, and motivates them to keep trying or to try hard.
Make encouragement one of your daily goals, as you teach and train your children.