We hear so much about encouraging the older children in each family. I’ve often wanted to read a post about encouraging our little ones since that’s what I have. My boys are all under the age of eight (8 1/2 he would say). It seems that those ages can be the “you’re in my way” age or the “no” age. They aren’t really mature as we’d like and they ask way too many questions that we don’t have the answer too. They are learning how to do certain things without assistance and it can tend to get messy. As I was praying last night and throughout today, I asked the Father how can I encourage my little ones and this is what I had written down.
We can encourage our little ones with our words. Words can leave a lasting impression, either for good or for bad. With children I think we tend to just say things at times not thinking a lot about what comes out of our mouth. They’re small and most of them are very forgiving. I know some nights I lie down and feel so guilty when I think of somethings I said to mine that day. They wake up the next day with smiles, hugs, and kisses. I love you’s slip from their lips and they seem to have forgiven without me even asking. I have been trying to be more intentional with my words towards my boys. I have been trying to pay attention when they obey or do something good and praise them for it. We can encourage them by praising their good deeds and correcting their bad deeds. It’s just in the tone and how we approach them.
We can also encourage them with our actions. We often say if you love me, show me. Our younger children probably feel the same way, but aren’t sure how to say it. Do I hug them and kiss them? Touch is a very important encouragement. Do I give them a high five when they do something awesome? I know boys, especially, like to be applauded. We can show our children we love them even when they aren’t showing us. That isn’t easy to do for me. When they are whiny and complaining, I tend to want to give them the what for. Instead, I can lovingly tell them how blessed we are and I can pour love on them. I can act on loyalty and not feelings. When I feel like snapping at them or being rude back, I can choose to show them love isn’t based on how I feel. Love is based on loyalty and commitment. Children understand so much, I just think a lot of them have a hard time conveying it when they’re so young.
We can encourage them with our attitude. This one is huge. We can say sweet words, but if our attitude isn’t sweet, it’s just vain. They will figure that out. Everyone loves a cheerful person, even more so a cheerful Mom. It can become mundane and stressful being a stay at home Mom. My attitude can become affected pretty quick when things get out of whack. I can become grouchy in two seconds flat most days. I blame it on the kids, but that’s not true. It’s just selfishness and childish. I want to be unmoved by circumstances so I don’t treat those around me unfairly. Our children (and husband too) deserve that. Our attitudes each morning and day can greatly encourage our children. If Mom is on their side, then what else do they need, right? I have prayerfully asked the Lord to help my attitude be one that pleases Him and will encourage my family.
If you’re not encouraging your little ones, don’t fret! Today is a new day. You can ask the Father to show you ways to encourage them personally and you can start now. Ask the Father to let you see your children as He sees them. They need us and we need them. I learn so much from my children, often how sinful and selfish I truly am. Go ahead and start encouraging today!
Father, we thank You for the gift of our little ones. They are precious! They can seem to get in the way, but really they aren’t. They are in our lives to show us ways You want to change us. Use our children to refine us and draw us closer to You. Help us to encourage those little ones who are still at home with us. May we love them, speak kindly to them, and smile at them often. May we be a light to our children so they can be a light to others. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Linking up with 3-D Lessons for Life for Thought-Provoking Thursday.