This is the second week in this book study that I'm following over at The Homeschool Village.
This week, the chapters dealt with the first principle - The Power of Encouragement.
The Positive Power of a good word was discussed first. An important point brought out is how much words of encouragement impact our children. Not just the normal "you did a good job" - but specific words. For example, if you child plays football, encourage them by saying "I really liked the way you played defense. You were able to make so many great plays and help your team win." See the difference? It isn't the generic words but something that shows you actually paid attention. Make sure you are prepared (yes, plan ahead) with some good accolades to give your children - write some down to help you get used to handing out these great thoughts. Once you see how the children respond to these words, you'll want to hand them out even more.
Secondly, help your children discover their potential. We all want our children to succeed, plain and simple. So what can we do in order to help them? We need to study our children; learn their personalities, their likes/dislikes and their strengths and weaknesses. How can you do this? A few "easy" steps - 1) See their potential -watch your children and not the qualities, aptitudes, and interests that you see God developing in your children; pray over those items; talk to your children about those things too. Just be careful that your kids don't feel trapped by your wishes/desires but are really seeking what God has for them. 2) Offer Opportunities for Growth - let them try their hand at a variety of items but be careful not to get overloaded on classes and sports commitments. Instead, let them try things at home first and see where their strengths are than go from there. 3) Set Realistic Goals - Depending on the age of your children, sit down with them and help them set some goals to reach - make sure those goals are measurable. 4) Support their endeavors - make sure you are there not only when they win but also when they lose; comfort them and reassure them that you still love them whether they do something perfectly or really mess up.
Third, is Bringing Sonshine to Others. A mothers smile means a million different things and always brings encouragement and support. I see it already in my kids - my oldest, who is 2, will be playing quietly on the couch but, I can catch his eye and give him a smile and he just grins from ear to ear because he knows I see him; I recognize that he is having fun. Don't wait for the "feeling" - give out smiles freely. A smile can change the whole mood - both for yourself and for those around you.
I'm really enjoying this study so far - it has some great reminders as well and some new concepts. One thing that keeps coming up for me in ever chapter is that you have to do things on purpose - they aren't going to "just happen". From that encouraging word to that smile - isn't it easier to NOT do those things than to do them? I've looked for ways just this week to specifically praise my boys in every day things and, I LOVE their smiles so the more I can smile at them, the better :-)