As a parent, have you ever stopped to consider what you are looking for in your kids? I know I have been guilty of looking for the bad, rather than the good in my kids!
Due to an experience I had, my eyes were opened to the fact that I often focus on the negative, rather than the positive that I see in my kids. The experience was some simple criticism about a job I had done. In response to that criticism, I thought about the fact that you can do a job right for a long time and never hear a word about it. However, as soon as you do a little thing wrong, you hear all about it! The good is forgotten and never mentioned.
I realized that is exactly what I have often done to my children! They can do things right and behave well all day and never hear a word of praise from me. Then when they do something wrong they hear all about it. They should hear about the wrong, but they should also hear about the good. In fact, I think they should hear more about the good.
Failure to mention their good behavior, while always focusing on the negative, will lead them to feel that they can never please me. Soon they will quit trying, and not only will their behavior get worse, but I will also begin to lose their hearts. To keep their hearts, it is important that we give more love than discipline. We also need to give much more encouragement and praise, than criticism or discipline.
Another result of my tendency to focus on the wrong behaviors, while failing to mention any of the good things they do, is that I’m teaching them to be that way. They quickly criticize each other, but rarely compliment and praise. Why? Because of my example!
If I want my kids to be kind and encouraging to each other, I need be an example of that for them. Because the truth is, teaching them isn’t enough. It’s how we live that influences them! The Lord has opened my eyes to the fact that my example has been teaching them more than my words.
My goal is to praise much more than I scold or correct. It will pay off in better behavior, and happier children.