Mini-Post re: Praise & Criticism

Posted on May 1, 2008 · Posted in Parenting

Since there have been a few comments regarding the posts on praise and
criticism here is a mini-post addressing a question from Dan.

Sometimes parents hesitate to give praise for fear of
encouraging pride and boasting. That is certainly understandable, and we
need to think carefully how we offer praise so we’re not simply building up an
ungodly, self-centered arrogance. Godly praise, on the other hand, is an
opportunity to encourage your children by acknowledging God’s help and
kindness to them. For example,

 Yes,
Cameron, I saw you gave your truck to Colin. Remember how we prayed that
God would help you to be unselfish? I think he answered that prayer and helped
you to share, didn’t he? That’s wonderful!

 Hailey, you did a good job cleaning
your gerbils’ cage. I noticed you were thorough, even though it’s not a fun job
… Isn’t it satisfying to do your work well? God made us to take care of our
world, and we are blessed when we obey him in that way.

 Michael, thanks for getting your
homework done before you got on Facebook. I know it’s hard to learn
self-control, but God really does help you when you ask him, and I’m very happy
to see you growing like that.

Parents, when your child does something good (even if it was just a
simple duty), give encouragement in a God-honoring way. If you remind them
of God’s mercy and kindness and point them to loving gratitude, then you can
freely express genuine and enthusiastic joy at their obedience without
promoting pride.

Thanks for the questions and interaction!

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