Encouragement Works

By Joey & Carla Link

November 1, 2023

Your kids will go through times it seems like they are never going to do the right thing. You have given them consequences, but still no change. If you have consistently used lots of consequences with your child and see no difference in his/her behavior, how about taking a different approach and trying encouragement instead? Do you know encouragement means “To give courage to”? If your kids are struggling in one particular area, perhaps they need courage to do the right thing. There are some areas of my (Carla’s) life I need courage to do what I know is right. I have a strong sweet tooth and even though I know what the results will be (I can smell a cookie and gain 5 lbs!), still I indulge. Healthy eating is a hard, uphill battle for me.

This is true of your kids too, especially if they aren’t sure what the big deal is. Most kids don’t see the point in keeping their room clean. It is just going to get messy again. But Mom sure sees it as a big deal and even though your child knows you are going to get on him/her, picking up their room on a daily basis is like swimming upstream. 

Often, when they look at the messy room they can’t see where to begin. This is definitely a way you can help them. With one of my kids, I spent a Saturday morning having her make a list of all the things that needed to be done so her room would look picked up when anyone walked by. I had already made a list. I checked her list to make sure everything on my list was on it, then I asked her what one thing did she want to get started on. She would come back to me when she was done with it and pick something else off her list. When she had completed everything on the list, she would invite me to come see her work, which I heartily praised her for. How did I give her courage to tackle getting her room picked up?

How can you give your kids courage? Instead of telling them what they are doing wrong, try these phrases. 

·      I know you can do it!

·      What do you think you should do? That’s a great idea. Go for it!

·      Do you have more fun when you make the right choice or the wrong choice? 

·      I would be happy to help you get started with this. 

Encouraging your kids to do right is a very powerful tool in training them in the way they should go. Paul’s final words to the Corinthians,  

“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration,

 encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace.

And the God of love and peace will be with you.”

II Corinthians 13:11