Monday, March 21, 2011

A Critical Spirit is not Inspiring

I could probably just leave my title there and let it settle in our minds a bit, but I want to say that this is especially true for us women, wives, and moms.

Don't get me wrong, I definitely think men have their own way of condescending a child's character, but we moms have a unique way of discouraging our husbands and children.  Here is what I mean by "critical spirit".

It can be found in making our family member's best efforts "never good enough". This usually is the phrase that comes out of their mouths when they finally have had enough of our negative comments.  Sure, we may have meant it as "gentle" correction, but when approached in the wrong way and at the wrong time it can be very hurtful.

So then, what is the solution?  It starts in acknowledging their efforts with gratitude and focusing on the positive things they are doing.  Encouraging and exhorting a person starts with kind words.  Gentle correction does not begin with "you are doing this wrong, let "me" show you how it is done."  This says 1) They are incompetent and 2) Pride "I am better". Neither of these things are true so the way we express our desire to help must be humbly and positively.

Another approach would be "Thank you so much for doing this.  I see you had a little struggle with "this". Can I offer a suggestion for next time?"  

Their good behavior begins in respecting you as a parent when they see you respecting their needs. (emotional and physical) You don't achieve this buy making mountains of requirements when they are still learning how to climb the small hills. I hope this is a good positive challenge to you as well!  I needed this reminder to have a "yes face"  with my child and to offer positive words to encourage his good behavior.

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