Monday, July 16

Balanced Praise

I loved this post over at Confessions of a Pastor's Wife. I think I first started thinking about this whole idea of true encouragement (instead of cheap praise) back a few years ago when we read Grace-Based Parenting in our small group. [Love this book, couldn't recommend it more highly!]

As Kaden gets older, I think about it more and more, even in the way I talk to him about his drawings, ideas, attempts at something new, etc. I've read several things about the difference between praise and encouragement. I started reading Gary Chapman's Five Love Languages for Children, and he talks a little about this idea in the verbal affirmation chapter. (I also googled "praise and encouragement" and found this article.) I want my words to tell Kaden that I will always love him and support him, but I also want to instill independence, self-confidence, persistence, and a willingness to try new things -- for the times in life when I'm not there to cheer him on.

When I pray with Kaden at night, I often ask God to help Josh and I to clearly see the talents and gifts that he's given Kaden. I want to help him unpack the nuances of exactly who God crafted him to be and to celebrate with him as he finds the path God has for his life. This idea of balancing praise and encouragement is somewhere in the mix of accomplishing that goal. Read the post and let me know what you think.


Jenn said...

Jenn -
I think this post is right on and I love how you are purposely wanting to encourage him. I think it better for our kids to know that they can come to us for honesty (whethere good or bad) rather than to the world for validation.

Lori said...

I love your thoughts on this. I bet you are one amazing Mom...