Practicing Praise

Last week I wrote about The Power of Praise to strengthen relationships.¬† Here are some of the baby steps that I’ve taken to try to be more consistent in praising my family.

Thank God.

Each day as I pray for each member of our family, I start out by thanking God for some of the specific characteristics of each one. By thinking about and thanking God for the positives, I’m reminded of them myself and am more likely to express that gratitude to them in the form of praise or encouragement.

Praise first thing.

I know this seems simple, but when I first see each one in the morning I look them in the eye, give them a hug and tell them how happy I am to see them, to get to spend the day with them, etc. My goal is that each morning my family will start the day by hearing a reminder of how thankful I am for them and the blessing they are to my life.

Turn thanks to praise.

Our children have a lot of responsibilities around the house and in addition they often go above and beyond just because they wish to help Mark, me or one of their siblings. I’m frequently thanking the children for their sweet acts of service, but beyond that I try to praise them for the heart behind their actions. For example, “Thank you Carter for helping Nicholas find his socks. God has blessed you with a servant’s heart.”

Make it a habit.

There are regular occurrences during the day that I always use as an opportunity to give praise. Every time one of these things come up I praise my family.

One humorous example is when I’m called to the bathroom for wiping duty. As I enter the bathroom, I greet my little one with words of encouragement. “I’m so thankful that God has given you to me. You are such a big help to mommy when you pick up your toys.” or “You’ve been very kind to (siblings name) by letting them play with your blocks today, thank you!”

I also give praise when someone asks for help with a school assignment, asks me to do something for or with them, finishes their chores, or when I’m up at night with someone. Setting up times that I always encourage has helped me to encourage more consistently and spontaneously.

Delay correction/instruction.

I’m not saying that you should delay correction when your child sins, but rather when they haven’t quite reached that high standard that we are aiming for. I use this specifically with checking chores and school assignments.

It goes something like this:

Six year old Savannah has completed a handwriting page and I think that the down stroke on her ‘d’ needs improvement. I look her page over and praise her for the things that she has done well and have her put her book away. End of lesson. Then the next day BEFORE she does handwriting I say, “Savannah, today I want you to focus on the down stroke on your ‘d’.

This enables us to encourage our children to continue to work toward high standards without always feeling that they are falling short. We are able to praise them for where they are and then the next time they tackle the task we give them them a goal to work toward.

Say it.

When you think something positive about one of your children be sure to tell them. Don’t just think good thoughts, speak them.

Write it.

Some of our children love to give and receive notes. It’s my theory that if I watch the way my children express love and gratitude, I will better know how they wish to receive love and gratitude. So especially for those children who frequently write me notes of thanks and encouragement, I make the effort to write them short notes of encouragement. It works best for me if I write out several notes at one time and then over the course of the next little while I leave them in places where the children will find them.

So how do you focus on incorporating praise into your daily life?

You may also enjoy:

  • Writing notes to children

Other posts in the “Power of Praise” Series:

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30 Responses to Practicing Praise
  1. Heather Qualls
    March 22, 2011 | 7:57 am

    I really associated your posts on praise. I struggle with this in my life. I do have a question though. I have read over your posts about gaining your child’s heart, but I just can’t seem to win their hearts. My older two are five and four, both boys. We have, in the past year, changed a lot in their lives. These changes include the way we live, what we expect of them and also my husband is now an Army Soldier. A LOT has changed for them and no amount of discipline or encouragement seems to change their hearts toward pleasing us. Suggestions? Thank you for your blog.

    [Reply]

    Mama Mirage Reply:

    I was just listening to a message about having your childrens’ hearts and it was very encouraging and informative to me.
    http://charityministries.org/msg_detail.a5w?vlast_index=3694
    You can download it, listen online, or order a CD. It’s free.
    This one is good too:
    http://charityministries.org/msg_detail.a5w?vlast_index=1644

    [Reply]

    Heather Qualls Reply:

    Thank you!

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Pray, pray, pray and continue to be faithful in what God has called you. He is good and delights to give us good gifts, including the hearts of our children.

    [Reply]

  2. chantelle
    March 22, 2011 | 8:11 am

    Great post! I love all of your ideas, especially delaying correction. Thanks! :)

    [Reply]

  3. Ma
    March 22, 2011 | 8:30 am

    I need these tips…
    I struggle with this.

    :)

    [Reply]

  4. Rebecca P
    March 22, 2011 | 8:37 am

    Thanks so much for these posts! This is encouraging me to put my children first and encourage them more. I never thought I wasn’t encouraging until I saw what I could be doing.

    [Reply]

  5. Cheryl @Treasures from a Shoebox
    March 22, 2011 | 9:47 am

    I (and my children) will especially benefit from delaying correction. It makes me feel critical to tell a child who has worked hard on their assignment that it isn’t quite up to par. Praising what is right and waiting till the next lesson to correct/instruct makes so much more sense. Thanks for sharing these great ideas!

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  6. Casey
    March 22, 2011 | 10:07 am

    I appreciate the tips- I am a teacher and I struggle with praise- I like the idea of “scheduling” it

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  7. Kelli
    March 22, 2011 | 10:38 am

    Thank you so much for this. This is something I strive to do better at. I love how you wait for correction on work until next time. I will be working on that this week. :)

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  8. Shannon C.
    March 22, 2011 | 10:43 am

    Thanks so much for posting on this topic. You’ve given some really great tips I can start using with my family today. What a simple and great way to bless my family! Thanks for taking the time to share.

    [Reply]

  9. Nicki
    March 22, 2011 | 10:44 am

    This is a great post, just what I needed. Thank you!

    [Reply]

  10. sue
    March 22, 2011 | 11:27 am

    I love the idea of delaying correction!

    [Reply]

  11. Stacy
    March 22, 2011 | 12:27 pm

    I love the delayed corretion! It does make me sad to see the kids faces when I tell them what they did wrong on an assignment but I never thought to praise the good and wait on the “bad”. Thank you!
    My oldest son needs praise. That is his love language, words of affirmation. It actually took my mom (a non-Christian) to point this out to me. I had been really stuggling with his attitude and could not figure out how to change it. Now, the more I praise him the less of an attitude he has! It has been wonderful. Such a great series to blog on. Thank you!

    [Reply]

  12. Mama Mirage
    March 22, 2011 | 1:06 pm

    Hmm I’ve always wondered how to correct effectively and not inadvertently destroy their pride in the good of what they did in my correction. That’s a good idea to do it that way!

    [Reply]

  13. Hannah
    March 22, 2011 | 2:17 pm

    Thank you for your encouraging words and ideas. :) I especially appreciated the “delaying correction” tip. I am definitely going to use that.

    Blessings!

    Hannah

    [Reply]

  14. Candra Georgi
    March 22, 2011 | 2:20 pm

    thank you for this! such a practical blessing for me today.

    [Reply]

  15. Cindy Carrier
    March 22, 2011 | 2:36 pm

    I’ll add my thanks for sharing on “delayed correction.” Growing up with critical parents, my husband and I have had to learn to proactively praise and encourage our children. Although I do practice delayed correction sometimes, I have not really thought it out to do it intentionally and consistently.

    Blessings!

    [Reply]

  16. DeAnn
    March 22, 2011 | 7:21 pm

    Well said! I couldn’t agree with this post more! 6jellybeans@blogspot.com

    [Reply]

  17. Jeree B
    March 22, 2011 | 8:38 pm

    I am always learning something on your blog! You are an inspiration. Can’t wait to put it into action.

    [Reply]

  18. gabrielle
    March 22, 2011 | 8:46 pm

    Love this! Thank you! I can’t wait to start practicing tomorrow :)

    [Reply]

  19. Valerie
    March 22, 2011 | 8:51 pm

    Thank you so much for these *specific* helps! You are an inspiration to me!

    [Reply]

  20. Rachel K
    March 22, 2011 | 9:22 pm

    Thank you so much for this! I especially liked the example of praising during specific times, such as during wiping duty. Reading that made me realize that I have had a bad attitude about being needed for wiping duty for my son. Everytime he needs me I wonder “Why can’t HE do this yet?” But if I were to set that up as a set time to praise my son, then I would be thinking more positively about those more difficult duties — as well as encouraging him. You may have thought that was a humorous example, but I am glad you used it. I plan to use that as a time to encourage my little Peter.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    The reason that I chose wiping duty is because I wanted to remember to be thankful for those little ones ALL the time and to serve them with joy. It does work, I love wiping little bottoms and changing little diapers (I haven’t always loved it).

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  21. Mrs. K
    March 22, 2011 | 10:14 pm

    thank you. this is so helpful. i will definitely keep this in mind. also saying something positive when you first see them sounds like the making of a good day.

    [Reply]

  22. Julie
    March 23, 2011 | 7:12 am

    This is definitely an area that I need help with! This post has given me encouragement and new ideas to implement with my family. Thank you so much for being willing to share how the Lord has helped you!

    [Reply]

  23. Heidi C.
    March 23, 2011 | 9:09 am

    Love the example of the “downstroke on the ‘d'”. I always praise first, but I usually go right on to tell my daughter or son what to fix. I’m going to try to wait until the next time we do that activity. Thanks for the great idea!

    [Reply]

  24. Sarah S.
    March 24, 2011 | 11:05 am

    Thanks for some great practical ways to build in more encouragement! I always try to greet each of my three girls with a hug and kind words as they wake up in the morning. I have lots of room for improvement in this area, but just starting the day like that helps me to remember that these little people are such blessings!

    [Reply]

  25. Amy
    March 24, 2011 | 2:58 pm

    Thanks so much for this post! Definitely something that I needed to be reminded of. I may have to print this out to read each day until it becomes a better habit.

    Thankful to have found your blog! I am enjoying it.

    ~Amy

    [Reply]

  26. Lori @ Momma's Hands
    March 25, 2011 | 11:31 pm

    I really liked the school related ideas. That is a great way to encourage your child in their progress, yet still address issues that do need to be dealt with. Fantastic!

    Thanks for sharing these ideas & tips~

    [Reply]

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