“The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush, but the words of the godly save lives.” Proverbs 12:6 (NLT)
You can make an enormous difference in the lives of your kids just by affirming their good qualities and good behavior.
I like to be around people who like me. I’m guessing you do, too. It’s human nature to avoid people who regularly criticize you. If you’re consistently on your kids’ case, they’ll be conditioned to avoid you. You don’t want that.
The words you use to your kids matter. The Bible has a lot to say about the words we speak. Proverbs 12:6 says, “The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush, but the words of the godly save lives.” (NLT) Your words are life-giving to your kids. They are powerful and memorable.
So how do you use those powerful and memorable words in a way that most effectively affirms your children? Start by going beyond the four A’s that most kids get affirmed for in our culture -- appearance, athletics, academics, and the arts. You and I both know that a person can be a brilliant, artsy, good-looking athlete and be an awful human being. We need to go deeper than that.
Instead, we need to affirm our kids for the character qualities they demonstrate and the appropriate behavior they show. Be specific when you do this.
- “I was really proud of the way you handled that situation.”
- “I was amazed at how patient you were with your little brother.”
- “I’m so grateful for how kind you were to your mom – and you did that without her even having to ask you!”
No one in the world has as much influence over your kids as you do – not the media, not peers, and not other adults. You can make an enormous difference in the lives of your kids just by affirming their good qualities and good behavior.
You can do this. Catch them in the act of doing great things because they are doing great things. You just need to make a point of catching them when they do.
For additional parenting tips and ideas, go to www.dougfields.com/amazingkids.
Take a look this new curriculum at Saddleback Resources: Raising Your Kids without Raising Your Blood Pressure.