By guest author Jolanthe Erb
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 affected 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.
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 for which 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?