I sat down to write a post about Positive Compliments for our Children. However, as I researched the topic, I ended up with “Encouraging Our Children”. Why? As I read and researched I found that we want to do more than dish out compliments. We want to give our children praise when they are making the effort.
When I was little, my nurse Dibby’s cousin had a dog, just a mutt, and the dog was pregnant. I don’t know how long dogs are pregnant, but she was due to have her puppies in about a week. She was out in the yard one day and got in the way of the lawn mower and her hind legs got cut off. They rushed her to the vet and he said, “I can sew her up, or you can put her to sleep if you want, but the puppies are okay. She’ll be able to deliver the puppies.”
Dibby’s cousin said, “Keep her alive.”
So, the vet sewed up her backside, and over the next week the dog learned to walk. She didn’t spend any time worrying, she just learned to walk by taking two steps in the front and flipping up her back-side, and then taking two steps and flipping up her backside again. She gave birth to six little puppies, all in perfect health. She nursed them and then weaned them. And when they learned to walk, they all walked like her.
Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs them down, but an encouraging word brings him joy.
Even as I read this I was encouraged. I wanted to write and call everybody I know and tell them how special they are.
I Cor 4:16
I encourage you, then, be imitators of me.
This scripture really brought home the thought of how I want my words and actions to benefit my three children two step children, and four grandchildren. I know that I don’t always present the best example to be imitated. Even at my best I am a poor example. I love this story that Beth Moore shares in her Bible Study Breaking Free, it is a story from Gilda Radner’s book It’s always something that so gives example of the importance of a good example. I have included the story below.
Compliment and Encourage can be and often are used interchangeably, but, to encourage is to give a little more than a simple compliment.
The Oxford dictionary says that the word compliment means “an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration”. This is great, right?
But when I started looking for Biblical insight I found the Oxford dictionary states that to Encourage is:
· Give courage, confidence, or hope to.
· Urge, advise.
· Stimulate by help, reward, etc.
· Promote or assist (an enterprise, opinion, etc.)
To encourage seems to give a compliment and so much more! I want my grandchildren to feel that I’ve given them hope and the push to continue to learn and grow.
Ideas for using praise and encouragement:
· Try to give your children words of encouragement every day. Start with something small is this is new and build up from there.
· Look for ways to praise more than you criticize. A guide on the internet suggests you compliment them 6 times for every time you say something negative. This seems like some days this would be hard if not imposible. Especially if you are raising multiple children.
· Watch for little changes and successes that you can praise them for. Even an improvement could be commented on.
· Remember that all children are different. Some will want to please and seek to obey and follow, others will not care at all if you have 20 things to do today, they want a snack right now. Look for the unique strengths that they have and work from there.
· Try to make praise dependent on your child’s behavior and not on how you feel. The more we look for the good, the more likely we are to find it.
The information I have written about has come from a great website http://raisingchildren.net.au, my own life experiences and the Holy Bible.