Why is it important to know how to plant seeds of encouragement and grow Godly character in your children? It is vital because seeds of encouragement are a key part of motivating our children in right behavior.
In the book Children of Character, the author (Mardy Freeman) says:
“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.” (p. 81)
I don’t know about you, but I was always good at noticing the negative behavior in my children and pointing it out to them, but really struggled to see and comment on their good behavior.
I was so focused on helping them develop Godly character that I often failed to see, let alone acknowledge, their efforts.
I remember one day in particular when one of my girls was having a rough day, and I kept correcting her over and over. All of a sudden I realized how much I had been getting after her, and I realized that if I didn’t find something positive to say, she was going to get discouraged and give up.
I realized that in little small ways she really WAS trying to improving in the areas of character that we had been working on. The problem was that I my focus on what I saw wrong, rather than what I saw that was right.
Do you ever struggle with that?
How do you plant seeds of encouragement and grow Godly character in your children?
1 Ask God to help you see the good in your children.
If you have a difficult child, sometimes it is HARD to find something to encourage them about.
Ask God to show you something – anything – that indicates they really do desire to do better, and are trying. Look more at their heart, than their behavior. Encourage them for their desire to try to improve.
When you see that effort to show character, let them know that you noticed, and encourage them for making progress.
2. Let them know what pleases you.
When you see a child being kind, showing initiative, trying to do better in whatever you have been working on, let them know how pleased you are!
Kids LOVE to please their parents, but often we make them feel like they just can’t please us! They never hear those positive encouraging words they long for.
Encourage them and let them know how happy you are with the little or big steps of growth, and they will try to repeat it, knowing that it makes you happy, and that it pleases God when they grow in character.
3. Brag on their character growth to your spouse when they can hear you.
When your spouse comes home from work, say something along the lines of “Guess what (child’s name) did today?! She obeyed right away with a good attitude when I asked her to __________. She was SO obedient!”
4. Use charts to keep track of their progress.
Charts are a great way to keep kids motivated and are a great way to keep track of the progress that your kids are making in their character growth. They will help you know how your kids are doing in different areas of character, and also help to keep them encouraged and motivated.
We created and used character charts when our children were young, and then had character celebrations to celebrate their progress. You can read how we did that in this post: Character Charts To Encourage Growth.
You can sign up below to get a free download of the character charts:
Nothing is more discouraging than feeling like you aren’t making any progress in an area, or that no one is aware of your efforts. Your children will blossom when you recognize their efforts and praise them, so make sure to plant seeds of encouragement daily!
1. Ask God to help you see the efforts your children are making today.
2. Praise each of your children for at least one area of character that you see them growing in today.
3. Print the character charts, and begin to use them.
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A special thank you to our series sponsor Math Mammoth! They are featuring their Math Mammoth Light Blue Series which constitutes a full elementary mathematics curriculum for grades 1-7. Make sure to take a look at all they have to offer here!