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Encouraging our Children

June 3, 2015

Topic 7: Encouragement

“You did a great job at your baseball game!” “I love the way you organized your room!” “Wow, what a great picture!” “You’re a rock star with your math this week!”

Don’t we all love to hear encouraging words? Even as adults? Yes, of course we do. And guess what, so do children. It is easy to always feel like we are discipline our children, trying to get them to behave within our set goals. But, guess what? Children are inherently good and do really great things! So, as parents it is our job to build that relationship with our children by encouraging our children—and as a result increasing their self-esteem!

There are many ways we can encourage our children:

  1. Write them letters of encouragement.
    • Tell them what they are doing well. Point out the baby steps that have taken towards their goal. Let them know you love them no matter what. These will be cherished!
    • They don’t have to be physically written—maybe you want to make them a short video telling them how proud you are of them. Maybe write them a song or draw them a picture. Let them know you are thinking about them and are proud of their accomplishments—no matter how big or small.
  2. Catch ‘em Being Good
    • You don’t need to necessarily write them a letter every day of the week, but you can catch them being good one time a day. Maybe they walked down the stairs this morning rather than slid down them. (Wow, what a great job you did walking down the stairs). Or maybe they ate their food at dinner without complaining. (I love the way we all ate our dinner so nicely this evening).
    • It is the idea that you are point out the good, rather than always pointing out what they are doing “bad” or “wrong.”
    • Make sure, though, to point out the exact behavior you are encouraging, as in the examples above.
  3. Help your child reach a goal using Baby Steps
  • Identify a goal your child has, break it down into baby steps, acknowledge what they already do well, and encourage/nudge them along the way of reaching that goal.

Help your children raise their self-esteem by encouraging them. It also builds a stronger relationship so when you do have to discipline, you have a strong, loving relationship to fall back on—one of trust, bonding, and security.

*Most of this information is taken from the curriculum Active Parenting. However, I have also done my own research and added it in when necessary. I am not marketing Active Parenting nor do I get anything from the sales of Active Parenting. (Michael Popkin, Ph.D., 2014)

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