Encouragement and affirmation are another part of the 5 Love Languages.
Encouraging our children with words of affirmation gives them the courage they need to grow up to be strong adults. What they learn with these types of lessons gives them the basis for treating others as they would like to be treated as well.
As young children grow we teach them the social skills they will need as well. This is done by confirming their good actions and positive remarks they make. When they are nice to someone we need to praise them. Encourage your children to also catch others doing something nice and to compliment or thank them for their nice act.
Listening to our children and teaching them to listen to others is an important skill. I know I’ve been guilty of only half listening as one of the kids comes in from school all excited about their day. I should have stopped what I was doing and listened intently to them. Instead I kept fixing dinner. We’re all guilty of things like that. Try to ask your child to wait just a minute so you can finish what you’re working on. Then sit down and give them your full attention. Your little action will do wonders to give them encouragement and the affirmation that they mean so much to you.
When your child does something good complement them on it. Watch for those opportunities. You can use a notebook to jot down ideas of things to watch for, such as picking up their clothes, putting their dishes in the sink, or helping a sibling with a task. What other ideas do you have of catching your child in the act of doing good.
There are many influences on our children’s lives. Social media, friends, other adults in the family and community. We need to make sure they are getting the right feedback from all of them as well. Listen to their conversations with others and if something doesn’t sound right talk with them and give them examples of how they should say something.
God gives us mostly positive guidance. We need to give our children as much positive affirmation as we can. With Adam and Eve, His only negative reaction was to make them leave the Garden of Eden. Then He helped them in their new lives. He also gave us the Ten Commandments to live by, they are mostly positive as well. He loves us and wants what is best for us.
We do need to correct our children, but only when necessary. Try to look for the positive as much as possible in their lives. Even as our children are teens, we need to be careful and explain why we don’t want them to be involved with certain people and situations. Give them examples such as a teen dying from drugs or an accident, and how much their parents are hurting. That you don’t want to have to go through that pain if they make a wrong choice and die.
Be careful when giving an affirmation that you don’t negate it with something negative. I love you, but.… By saying I love you, and I need you to do this, or I love you but, I can’t believe you just did that. All the child hears is but…. They don’t hear your love.
How can you see different ways that you can give your child encouragement and affirmation?