Not Provoking Our Children – Way #6

Way #1 – Don’t expect more of them than they are capable of doing or giving.

Way #2 – Be careful how you reprimand them.

Way #3 – Practice what you preach and avoid double standards.

Way #4 – Teach them proper values.

Way #5 – Have good times with your kids.

Way #6 – Communicate affirmation, appreciation and encouragement.

1Thessalonians 2:7-8 says, “But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. Having thus a fond affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.”

In these verses, Paul characterizes his relationship with the church as that of a loving, caring parent. The picture he gives us is that of a tender, nursing mother. It is a picture of a parent who is a nurturer.

One of the biggest challenges confronting parents is the tendency to point out the negatives at the expense of the positive. This tends to provoke the spirit of their children.

Parents want their children to be perfect. However, instead of accentuating the positive things in their children, they attempt to achieve perfection in their children by constantly pointing out the negatives. 

For example, a child brings home 6 A’s and one A- on their report card. Many parents will focus on raising the A- and forget to applaud all the A’s. The best tool for learning we have in our toolbox is appreciation, encouragement and affirmation for the things they do well.

Every parent needs to pause and take inventory on how they try to motivate their children. Is it through love or threats? Is it through appreciation or deprecation? Is it through affirmation or criticism? Is it through encouragement or punishment? 

The Biblical way would be to affirm, appreciate and encourage. As parents, we need to be a nurturer and accentuate the positive and our children will flourish just as a baby does in the arms of a gentle nursing mother. 

Something to think about…