Making an Intentional Effort to Encourage our Children
1. Smile – Nobody wants to be around a grumpy looking sourpuss, I’m just sayin’! Often we go out of our way to smile at strangers, yet spend the day scowling at the people we love the most. Smile at your children!
2. Listen – Really take the time to listen. I know it can be a challenge, especially in a big, busy family. It feels like everybody is talking at once for most of the day. Take an extra moment and look your child in the eye, make the effort, it’s worth it.
3. Encourage Interests – Allow your children to pursue what they are interested in and take an interest yourself. Let them talk about it with you, ask them questions, genuinely be interested in what they are interested in too.
4. Let Them Try – We know our children well, but we don’t know everything. Let them try new things, new activities, new food. Refrain from saying “you won’t like that”, maybe most of the time we will be right, but what about the times we aren’t?
5. Let Them Fail – Let them try something, if it doesn’t work, let them fail. When did failure become such an awful thing? Failure is simply a new learning opportunity.
6. Love Them for Who They Are – God created each of our children to be unique. Particularly as homeschoolers we can encourage them to not be a cookie cutter version of the student sitting next to them. Encourage them to be the person God created them to be – even if that isn’t what you, as a parent, envisioned.
7. Don’t Put Down One to Praise Another – Please don’t encourage sibling rivalry by saying things like ” your brother never did that!” “why can’t you be more like your sister?!” No one wants to feel like they don’t measure up.
8. Leave Them Alone – Spending a majority of our time with our children can be both a blessing and burden. It’s easy to fall into micromanaging their every move, to nitpick. More often than not we need to back off a bit and just let them be kids.
9. Don’t Be a Dream Squasher – Encourage your children to dream big. Don’t be the person in their life that says “you can’t do that”. Either they will stop sharing their dreams with you or they will stop dreaming. We need big dreamers. Big dreamers often turn into big doers.
10. PRAY! – Don’t forget the most important act we can do for our children, pray for them!
Be sure to check out more 10 in 10 posts!