When our child makes progress, take time to celebrate instead of moving straight onto the next life lesson they need to learn. They are learning and making wise choices all the time – do we notice? We must.
When your child makes progress do you pause and celebrate with them? This is a lesson I learnt when my kids were younger.
As parents we are very aware of the areas that we would like to see change in our children’s lives: We have concerns for their spiritual, moral, relational, practical, physical and mental growth. It is very easy to jump from one area of concern to the next heart issue. Parenting becomes training, training, training.
One day this dawned on me – I would sit down every month to look at how my children were growing and what we needed to focus on. During this time of review I would acknowledge (to myself) that one of my children had made significant progress and we needed to move on and focus on something else. So I would plan how I would address the next area of concern. I would see their growth, but I never told them that I saw it.
The Place of Encouragement
There are two sides to training – there is the instruction and there is the encouragement. I doubt that we encourage our children enough.
Encouragement isn’t just a pat on the back for good feelings. Encouragement means to put courage in. When we encourage our kids we give them the courage to keep on going, to keep on working on their heart, to keep on growing as they listen and practice to what we are teaching them.
In true Ecclesiastes fashion – there is a time to correct, and there is a time to encourage. A time when we need to focus on the positive things we see in our children. A time to commend them for their effort and focus. A time to recognise God’s hand at work in their life. Giving words of encouragement, kindness and hope is a way of showing love to our children. Regardless of specific ‘love languages’ we all need to be told we are special, loved and doing well.
We need to celebrate the growth we see in our children’s lives.
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Take time to celebrate when your Child Makes Progress
When I started to think of intentional ways to encourage my child’s progress I thought of a growth chart. You know the type that you hang on the wall and mark off each year how tall each child in the family has grown. I wanted to find something like this that was a tangible keepsake of my children’s inner growth. Not just how tall they have grown physically, but how they are standing tall in their heart, how their inner person is growing. I wanted to go deeper than a hug and a word of encouragement as we pass each other in the hallway (important though that is).
I wanted to give each of my children a gift of recognition. Not recognition just for a job well done but recognition of the person God has made them be, recognition for the choices they were making and the growth I was seeing in their life. I decided to write them some notes – notes from my Mother’s heart. I determined that when I saw growth, maturity, change, skill, godly attitudes in my children I wanted to pause and write them a little note.
Encouragement in a Card
I personally like digital scrapbooking so I chose that method to write my notes. But pen and paper are just as effective. The method isn’t important – passing on our heart to our children is.
I created a postcard size card – it took all of 20 minutes, I took it to town to be printed – it cost all of 29 cents and I gave it to my child. Over the next few months I did one of these cards/notes for each of my children. They each truly appreciated their card – it affected them differently, and they responded differently (as you would expect due to their personalities) but bottom line – it touched their hearts.
Celebrate with a letter
Another tool we have is to write our children a letter. Birthdays are a great time to do this as the birthdays come around every year reminding us to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!) Writing a blessing to your children, commending them on their character growth, encouraging them in their walk with the Lord, whatever is on your heart to tell your child, will work in a letter.
Create a Poster
With the increase in digital media we are all becoming more and more familiar with creating something to share a message. You can take a photo and put words over the top to share a heartfelt encouragement. I have started to take the main encouragement in our birthday letters and create a poster that is hung in our dining room. Here is a proclamation that this child is special.
Doesn’t matter how – just do it!
Remember the heart is the place that holds beliefs, values, passions that drives our children’s choices and makes your child who they are. And as we give encouragement to our children – their heart will surely grow and strengthen in resolve.
Regardless of how you choose to present your words, the important thing to remember is that we need to take the opportunity to build up our children and strengthen their inner life but without a doubt, it will also strengthen our relationship with them and their confidence within themselves. That is what encouragement is all about!
Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
Have you used Canva? These days I create any postcard, invitation, or poster on Canva. It is free drag-and-drop type online app/software that helps you create any printed design. Check it out – it only takes minutes to learn it really is that easy. https://about.canva.com/
How do you give recognition for the progress that your children show?
Love to hear your ideas.
When you Encourage your Child, Focus on Character not Achievement: When we encourage our children we need to praise their character not the things they do. When we see the good things our kids do, and we give praise, we strengthen their heart to keep on going.
5 Different Times Parents can Speak Words of Life to their Children: Throughout the day we have 5 different opportunities to speak words of life – words that instil hope, courage, trust and a sense of belonging.
What to do When you Don’t See Change Happening in Your Child: Though we don’t want to be results driven we do want to see our kids change. What can we do when we don’t see change happening in our kids?
What does your Child Believe? Heart focus parenting is about teaching our children beliefs and values, it is about training their character and preparing them to be able to make wise choices in their life.