“My mother’s a liar.” So said my sister-in-law about my mother-in-law. “My whole life she told me I sang beautifully. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I learned I can’t carry a tune in a bucket.” What my sister-in-law learned from that experience is that you only need one person to believe in you to make you think you can do anything. I’ve learned a lot about how to encourage others from my mother-in-law and I plan to practice what I’ve learned on my own kids.
In what ways do your kids need to be encouraged? Academically? On the playing field? Socially? It’s incredible to think that moms have the power to change their children’s way of thinking simply with some encouragement. Here are 3 ways to be the encourager your kids need you to be.
1. Make a compliment sandwich.
You may have heard this advice before, but it’s a great reminder. When you have criticism to relay, surround it with good. After all, criticism without the constructive part just stinks. Without a doubt, people on the receiving end will feel better about their abilities—despite the setback—and I bet they will exceed your expectations on the next go-round. So before and after you criticize your kids, compliment them (here are 99 ways to do that!).
2. Put it in writing.
There’s something to be said about a handwritten note. So when you have the chance, leave a note of encouragement for your kids. Or better yet, use these tips for writing a love letter to your child. A number of years ago, I participated in a study that challenged you to write thank-you notes to each person you work with—not because they gave you something or did something for you, but just because. So I did this at work and at home.
It feels good to be an encourager, but it’s not natural for me. If you need help too, try our free printable 30 Day Encouragement Challenge. There are so many ways to work encouragement into your daily interactions with your children:
- Text it. For older kids, this one’s a given. They may not listen to voicemail, but they will read texts.
- Start with it. When your children wake up, say something encouraging about them and the day ahead.
- Celebrate it. Encourage your entire family by coming up with a new holiday—just for your family.
So I encourage you to slow down (as much as you can), take a look around, and intentionally encourage your children at least once a day. Whatever form it takes, your encouragement can change the course of your child’s day—if not the course of your child’s life.
Whatever form it takes, your encouragement can change the course of your child’s day—if not the course of your child’s life.
What is the best encouragement or compliment you’ve received?