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Be a cheerleader

July 5th, 2007

“You always see what I do wrong and get mad at me. But you never see what I do right!”

My son said that to me when he was in 6th grade. And he was right.

I was very wrong.

Here I was, picking on him about cleaning his room, picking up his clothes, putting his dishes away, taking out the trash, etc. etc. etc.

And here he was beginning his adolescent years and struggling with issues common to his age – self esteem, peer pressure, acceptance, independence, etc. etc. etc.

I wasn’t being helpful to him. I was being more of a discourager and a hindrance.

While I was right in telling him to do his chores and his homework, he also needed affirmation and encouragement.

How would I like it if my boss at work always criticize my work and do not praise me for the work I accomplish? I certainly wouldn’t be motivated to work harder.

It is the same with our children. I learned from my son that a parent needs to verbally express our praise and appreciation. Parents need to be generous with our words of encouragement.

It is important that we give our children words of praise daily. Look at what they are doing right each day. It doesn’t have to be a big accomplishment to warrant a word of kindness.

“Hey, good job in getting your homework done early today.”
“You are pretty good at keeping your desk neat.”
“Looks like history is your best subject. I am proud of you.”
“I am really happy to have a son/daughter like you.”

Parents need to be cheerleaders, not task masters.

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  2. […] Don’t let a day go by without giving a word of encouragement. Our children may not seem to care, but believe me, they long to hear words of affirmation from […]


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