Don’t ever underestimate the power of praise in parenting! Just like a garden shrivels up and dies without water, our children’s hearts will wither without our praise.
However, when we pour praise on them regularly, it will cause them to flourish, while also strengthening our relationship with them.
According to Mardy Freeman, author of Children of Character, “If getting to the root of a problem is like pulling weeds from a garden, then praising character is like watering it. Both weeding and watering are necessary for healthy growth, but watering is much less work.”
Praising our children involves taking the time to notice and praise them for the good things they do. This is something that I have always had to intentionally work on.
It’s not a natural thing for me to gush out words of praise about how hard they worked, or how diligent they were. Unfortunately though, it seems to come VERY natural to me to see the things that aren’t as good as I’d like them to be, and then make NEGATIVE comments.
There have been days where I caught myself correcting a child over and over, and suddenly realized that if I didn’t find something ENCOURAGING to say, that child was going to give up.
Perhaps you struggle with this too. Maybe you weren’t brought up that way, and it feels very awkward to praise your kids.
Start with little comments that let them know you are pleased with their effort, or what they have done. Be sincere, and express those encouraging words often through out the day.
If it’s REALLY hard for you to SAY those encouraging things, start off by writing your kids notes that will bless them! Kids LOVE getting notes – it’s a special treat, and something they can read over and over again.
The most important part of praise is not the specific words or timing, but having an attitude of approval in general, all the time. Look for the good in your child, and let them know by your attitude (and words and actions when appropriate) that you are very pleased with them.
While it is natural for us to praise our children for their accomplishments and achievements, truly wise parents learn to praise their children for their character development instead.
- Praise them when they make a choice to do the right thing
- Praise them for kindness
- Praise them for generosity
- Praise them for hard work
- Praise your child when he is being obedient
- Praise effort
- Praise perseverance
When we praise our children for their beauty or talents that God has given them, we are praising them for something they have no control over. This tends to promote pride. It is much more beneficial to praise our kids for character. Look at their hearts and motives, not just the outward accomplishments.
To help your children develop character, pour on the praise — but remember to praise character more than achievement
There is power in our praise as parents!