What’s the difference between insincere praise and sincere words of encouragement? As parents, it’s easy to flippantly shower our kids with adoration or praise, trying to make them feel good (“You’re so smart!” “You’re the best!” “You can do anything!”). Sincere encouragement, on the other hand, is offering strength to the heart with words that build into their lives (“I saw how kind you were to that boy on the playground,” “You ran your fastest time! I’m so proud of you!” or “You sure worked hard on that project.”) In a society which plays into selfie-obsessed, egocentric tendencies, our children do not necessarily need disingenuous adoration. On the other hand, they do need sincere words that cheer them on and offer their heart encouragement.
Perhaps you have seen the commercial with Pinocchio as a motivational speaker. His nose grew longer and longer as he peppered the audience with insincere flattery such as “I look around this room and see nothing but potential.” He continued to point to people in the room saying, “You have potential, and you have potential” while his nose grew longer and longer. Our kids can see straight past insincere praise. Let’s give our kids true words of encouragement, acknowledging their efforts and cheering them on to do their best. As I look at God’s word, I see that praise is reserved for Almighty God. He alone is worthy of our praise. The Bible does tells us to encourage one another and build each other up. Our accolades when our kids do well or make a valiant effort can be the catalyst they need to push them further. Let’s be builders with our words!
This is a little excerpt from The Power of a Positive Mom