Building up and Encouraging Kids

It’s already been a rough start to the week. Hearing about Las Vegas just makes us all cringe and cry out and wonder how this can happen. I don’t have any answers to our Las Vegas questions, but as we  grieve and mourn, I can only remind myself and others to build each other up and encourage one another in their positive actions.

This is something that we can so easily do for the kids in our lives, but don’t always have the time and energy. Over the past year, I have been encouraged by teachers and pastors to write words of encouragement to kids in my life.

It’s not hard. It doesn’t take too much time, but it can be so vital to the life of a child. I personally love the written word – something that the child can tuck into a drawer or a special book and come across and look at in the years to come.

Here are just a few simple examples:

When our daughter was wrapping up 5th grade, her teacher asked for a note from the parents for the kids to read on a reflection day.  Here’s a small section:

Since you just finished studying parts of the human body I thought I would tell you how much we love you from your head to your toes!
We love your eyes – You see your family and your friends and you look for ways to be a good sister, daughter and friend.
We love your legs and feet and your willingness to try new sports, your desire to run and play and all the adventures that your legs can take you on!

For a niece who was making a commitment at church, I focused on how she can use her gifts and talents of communication, acting and kindness to show love and kindness to others. I finished with “you are spunky, kind, confident, thoughtful and a child of God. Be blessed and always know how much you are loved.”

For my young sons, it has been as simple as a note slipped into their lunchbox. Try to pick something specific to encourage or emphasize. Instead of, “ I think you are awesome.” (which is true) take a characteristic that you want to build up. “I think you are going to be a great friend today. See if you can make someone smile!” OR “I love your math abilities. Hope today’s math class goes great!”

For a student I had years ago, I encouraged her to be the leader that I knew she could be. While naturally quiet and reserved, I knew that she had great thoughts and ideas that could bloom if she was encouraged. From a brief comment, she gained more confidence that she had worthwhile ideas to add to our classroom.

Words are so powerful and so easy to share. Take a moment and write a note to a special child in your life. Let them know that you see them as they are right now and all the potential of the amazing person they will be.

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