Fueling Kids With Encouragement

Kids see through the thin veneer of a hallow laugh. They spot the criticism; it stings.

Kids see through the thin veneer of a hallow laugh. They spot the criticism; it stings.

Recently I’ve realized that much of my conversation is a deadly poison, especially to the innocent ears of my children. As a young bride I was often reminded to never speak negatively of my husband to others, yet how quickly I allow idle conversation to throw my kids, my flesh and blood, under the bus! Disguised with a light laugh I “joke” about the nature of my kids, their temperaments and tendencies. (Trust me, I have a lot of material to work with!)

But kids know.

Kids see through the thin veneer of a hallow laugh.

They spot the criticism; it stings.

Our kids are let down when we casually discuss their struggles with others. As much as I’d like to say it’s in the name of “seeking wisdom” or “getting tools” so I can help, the damage done far outweighs any potential gain. Cheap talk leads to fractured hearts.

When we exuberantly proclaim, “Your personality and gifts are created for a special purpose…” and choose to criticize that very essence, we undermine the very role God gave us as parents. We communicate clearly a disbelief that God is sovereign in shaping our child’s heart.  We sabotage our role as our children’s teachers and trainers when we choose to criticize. (Note a difference between correcting, training, teaching and criticizing.)

Mistakes will happen, for kids and adults alike.

Ever regret complimenting or encouraging a person for a great effort? Didn’t think so, neither do I! However I frequently wish I could take back hasty words of criticism. It’s time to be on our kid’s side, time to strengthen them by letting them grow into who they were created to be. There will be ample errors, enormous mistakes, but that’s not just on the their part!

New family motto: What happens at home, stays at home (except all the good stuff).

“All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”James 3:7-8

Heart Check: Can your family trust their mistakes with you? Do you have too many spectators influences your life?

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