Encouragement is having high, but attainable expectations, celebrating every success, and showing compassion in the face of failure.
In How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish write, “Let us realize that, along with food, shelter, and clothing, we have another obligation to our children, and that is to affirm their ‘rightness.’ The whole world will tell them what’s wrong with them—loud and often. Our job is to let our children know what’s right about them.” (p.191) (I love this book. Their book, Siblings Without Rivalry is also excellent.) The world can be a discouraging place. Our homes don’t have to be. We can choose to encourage our children.
Let’s focus on progress, not perfection. Focus on the wins, employing a strength model vs. a deficit model.
Recognize your child as a reader. (Check out this blog: https://www.singintoreading.com/blog/recognizing-readers)
When I get angry for what my kids are doing or not doing - that is blaming. It is discouraging. Instead, when I feel angry, I try to look inward for compassion and encouragement… Or take a break.
Sometimes I get mad at my children for the same things that I have trouble with, myself. I guess this is common, because in Parenting Teenagers, Dinkmeyer and McCay write, “Parents often complain that their teens do not respect them. Yet many times, adults show teens a lack of respect. How? They nag, yell, hit, or talk down.” (p.5) My kids don’t need disrespect. They need encouragement and love.
In order to offer my kids encouragement, I need to take my self-care seriously. I take baths, meditate, and do yoga - those are my favorite flavors of self-care. What’s your favorite flavor?
Read and write with your children daily in an encouraging way. Not sure where to start? Check out my free guide, “Ten Tips to Teach Your Child to Read with Music and Love.” Get your copy here: https://www.singintoreading.com/ten-tips
You can find out more about me and my work at https://www.singintoreading.com/
Please sign up here for the blog, which features songs, games, and literacy tips, as well as the pedagogy behind it all. Keep singing!