Your Encouragement Matters

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A few weeks ago I came across a post from Michael Hyatt called “A Tale of Two Coaches” that really applies to each of us as teachers and parents. While the topic isn’t anything earth-shattering, it was something that stuck with me {the window to the post has been open in my browser since I read it}.  It’s given me a lot to mull about over the last bit and consider in my approach to my children – and others for that matter.

Hyatt tells of how his golf game was effected by two different friends that he played with. One was always an encouragement – his gentle, reassuring voice gave Hyatt the opportunity to play his best games, instilling confidence in him and his game.

The other friend was an excellent golfer {even better than the first}, but rather than gentle encouragement, his mannerisms and actions belittled Michael, causing him to play at his worst.

Your Encouragement Matters

There are days when it can be so hard to find an encouraging word in the midst of the craziness. Days when biting words are on the tip of your tongue in response to bad attitudes and frustration.

But our words matter to our kids.

Your words matter

We can gently encourage our children in an area they are struggling with or spew words that will cut and damage little hearts and stick with our children in the days to follow.

While my goal is obviously to be an encouragement to our children in all I say and do, the reality is – well, reality. It doesn’t always come across that way and things come out of my mouth with a sharp intent. Words that I wish I could take back, but I can only offer an apology. Once our words are out – they aren’t easily forgotten.

Rather than focusing on what our kids are doing wrong, we can focus and encourage what they are doing right. {Believe me, I know this can be hard sometimes}.

Have you ever noticed a difference in your child’s demeanor when you encourage rather than focusing on the wrong? Shoulders lift. Faces smile. Hearts are softened.

When grace and encouragement are given, it can make a world of difference. This obviously isn’t a new concept – but it has been something that I have been reminded of lately and thought someone else might need to hear it as well.

Do you struggle with this area and holding your tongue at times? What ways have you found to specifically encourage your kids – even when it’s tough to do so?

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  • http://www.bytesofmemory.com/ Bytesofmemory

    Beautiful post! So so true! Just this morning I choose to encourage Sammy with his math even though some of the numbers were written wrong (he had the right answer just wrote a P instead of 9 and things like that) and he flew through the rest of the page. Instead of being discouraging and making it take 3 times longer! I need to remember to focus on the good and positive!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tara.b.mitchell.3 Tara Bellino Mitchell

    I absolutely love this post, and it came at just the right time. As I am currently dealing with a coach who is crushing my child’s dreams with their words and attitude instead of boosting her up. Everyone needs to remember that their words make an imprint on the hearts of the children they interact with. {Of course, as a mommy, I need to remember this as well.}

    • http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/ Jolanthe

      It’s always so easy for me to get riled up when I see others crushing my child{ren} with their words…and then forget that I often do the very same thing too. {ouch}

  • faigie

    It’s so true and its so hard to get away from criticism we got as children. I think the parents that did not get encouragement as children and are able to move out of that negativity and give the encouragement to their own children are the biggest heros.

  • Ample Abbeys

    The biggest help in this area for me (with my six blessings) was reading a book from Terri Maxwell about hom eschooling with a peaceful heart ….instead of becoming frustrated with situations and becoming a critical mommy I have learned to see them as wonderful opportunities to teach character and be an encourager …and even become thankful for those situations!

    • http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/ Jolanthe

      thanks for the suggestion. :)

  • crystal jeppesen

    I getting my GED in college this year but I want to be home schooled I created my bedroom into my homeroom to study in

  • Judy

    Just finished reading some books on strengths-based psychology and management. One was a relatively simple book called “How Full is Your Bucket?” (or something like that.). I think you’d like it. The whole notion of building on strengths in education rather than trying to constantly get kids to perform better and improve on things that they are not naturally good at has a good amount of research behind it. Wish my parents had known that. The struggle with math when on for years, but I ended up in psychology, education and graduate work in education and English. I am not great with math, and I am not saying we don’t need math, but I wish I had been given more encouragement and coaching for areas where I definitely excelled. You’re definitely on to something!


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