You want a happy home. Happy children. Happy husband. You want to be happy.
But then life happens. It doesn’t go as you planned. You just found out your child has allergies that will require major life changes. Your toddler is in a phase where she responds by throwing a huge tantrum every time she doesn’t get her way. Maybe your teen is acting defiantly and you have no idea how to respond. The washing machine breaks when you have a huge mountain of laundry threatening to take over the house. And there’s no money in the budget for a new one. Your husband needs you too, but you are so tired, you have nothing left to give. Then there’s scary world problems like ISIS and the recent attacks on Paris that are so awful, there are no words.
You get discouraged. You wonder if your hard work matters. Are you really a good mom? Will your children turn out okay?
Dear friend, I understand. I’ve been there. And I want to share an important lesson I’ve learned in recent months that has made a world of difference in my life and my family’s.
We all need to be encouraged regularly or we’ll end up frustrated and sad. Our children are no different; in fact, we as their mothers should be their biggest cheerleaders.
I know you know that already. But hear me out: the true reward is in being intentional about encouraging your children in everyday life.
It’s wonderful to tell your child you’re proud of her when she scores the winning goal in her soccer game. When he’s awarded a place on the honor roll. When your toddler is potty trained finally (hopefully.)
Keep it up!
But the challenge is encouraging your children in everyday life, each and every day.
You see, it’s easy to focus on what your children are doing wrong each day. After all, it requires far more of your time and attention when your son is mouthing off or your toddler hits another child. Or when your daughter hasn’t cleaned her room yet again and it’s a complete pigsty. Or when your 6 year old loses ALL his socks again and you’re rushing around trying to find some sock, any sock he can wear to school because it’s cold enough to snow.
It’s not quite as easy to notice the little things your children are doing right.
Here’s the thing:
Encouraging your children is one of the most important things you can do as a mom.
Pay attention to their effort, which is often more important than the outcome. It doesn’t matter if the floor is perfectly swept so much as if your child tried his best.
Pay attention to little acts of kindness to a sibling or a friend. To small things like saying “thank you” without being reminded or picking up their room without being prompted.
Tell your child when you notice something and praise them for what they’ve done! Do this often and regularly and you will begin to see a real difference.
Just like you and I respond better when someone encourages us to do the right thing compared to someone berating us, our kids will respond too.
Please hear me: I am not saying you shouldn’t discipline your children. I’m simply saying that you need to encourage your children first and foremost, along with correction when needed.
Since I’ve been more intentional about encouraging my four children, I have seen small but steady changes. My kids don’t fight as much. I’ll hear my daughter telling her little brother that he did a good job cleaning up his room. They might voluntarily do chores without me nagging them. There’s less whining and complaining.
Encouraging your children is not a magic “fix” but I promise you, it will make a big difference!
My whole family is happier when I encourage them and I am too! I don’t yell as much at my kids. I admit that I do yell sometimes but by simply being more intentional in my responses to my children, I’m far less likely to lose my temper.
Please try this out with your children. Purposefully look for opportunities to encourage your children. They will blossom. Your whole family will be happier and so will you!