I have a much easier time noticing the bad than recognizing the good. It’s also important to me to keep things clean. So even when our kids have spruced up part of the house, it’s still a whole lot easier for me to focus on the other areas that are still undone than to focus on the positive, to praise the good work that’s already been done.
I look more often for reasons to be critical than I look for reasons to praise. However, I’m learning that while my criticisms can be deflating to my family, my praise can be edifying and motivating. I’m constantly reminded of the power of praise. A proverb says “death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Our words matter and we will eat the fruit of them. Here are three of the fruits of praise.
1. Praise is powerful.
Every day, we can infuse life into our families through words of affirmation or we can take life away and crush their spirits through unnecessary words of criticism. Our words have tremendous power. When I intentionally praise my kids, they smile instantly. Why wouldn’t I want to build my family up with my words? One of the best places to do this is during the pride exercise at our All Pro Dad Chapter meetings. Check to see if there is a chapter in your area or learn what it takes to start one.
2. Praise is positive.
Our families face enough negative in the world around us on a daily basis. To receive praise in the home is sweet and refreshing. If we focus on the positive and praise it, our kids know we are on their side and that we are proud of them. Praise reminds our children that “home is where I want to be, and where I belong.” A praise-filled home is a positive place, where I am loved for who I am, not judged for who I am.
3. Praise is productive.
When we acknowledge that we’ve seen what we want to see, we’ll start to see more of it.In any area of life, you always get more of what you affirm. When my children know I’m proud of them and I go out of my way to praise them for a behavior, they’re motivated to do more of the same. One of our children especially desires to be praised and when we praise him, he is motivated to please us even more. I love the principle “say what you want to see.” When we acknowledge that we’ve seen what we want to see, we’ll start to see more of it.
Sound off: What kind of “fruit” are you experiencing in your home as a result of your words?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you wish I’d praise you for more?”