Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master. Ephesians 6:4 (The Message)
I have learned so much from watching my grown kid’s parent. I realize how many terrible mistakes I made when my first four kids were growing up.
One of the most important lessons I have learned is that it is really important to affirm your kids. But let me explain.
My Dad loved me dearly and I knew he loved me. But one of the things he didn’t do was affirm my brother and me. He did affirm us to everyone else. He told everyone how proud he was of our accomplishments, and how thrilled he was that we were following the Lord. He just rarely or hardly ever told us.
When Zach came along, our surprise fourth-late-in-life child, I did a terrible job in always pointing out all the things he was doing wrong. He didn’t do this right – he didn’t do that right. Our relationship was really moving in the wrong direction.
Finally my wife had the boldness to tell me that I needed to make a change or I was going to lose him. I really believe that was the turning point in our relationship. I began to point out all the things he was doing right, making sure that I told him when he did something special, thanking him for the things he was doing that were good vs. nagging about all the stuff he was not doing or not doing right. I can’t say I am there 100%, but I am moving in the right direction.
I have several friends in ministry who are doing an amazing job. Their Dad’s brag on them to me all the time, but these men have never told their son’s that they are doing a great job. I have challenged these men to make sure that they take the time to affirm their sons to them – not just to everyone else.
Elisa Hoffman and Carol Kuykendall in their book, “What Every Child Needs,” challenge us to do the following in affirming our kids:
1. Praise selectively. Affirm the positive often.
2. Praise immediately. Praise them when you catch them doing it right.
3. Praise specifically.
4. Praise intentionally.
My guess is that you are probably saying to yourself, I get it. Most of my Dad’s generation parented like he did. And I am almost certain they were doing exactly what their Dad’s modeled for them.
So here’s the deal – whether you are in the middle of the parenting years, just getting started – or maybe your kids are grown. It’s not too late to start affirming your kids.
They might think you have some kind of terminal illness and that’s why you are doing it after all these years. But in the end, you will be giving one of the greatest gifts you could ever give your children. This one important task will be passed on to the next generation and could change the whole course of history.
Think about it.
Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.
Click Here to Download our 2016 Daily Bible Reading Plan
Daily Quote: The sooner you treat your son as a man, the sooner he will be one. ~John Dryden (1631-1700) British poet, dramatist and critic.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”
But you would not, ~ Isaiah 30:15 (NKJV)