Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Affirming Words

Kids thrive on them.

Tell them "You're a pretty little girl" or "You are such a strong boy" or "I am glad you are my daughter" and it is just good for their soul.

Teenagers need them.

They need them from their parents and their friends.

"I value your friendsip" does wonders... or "I care about you" or "It is nice to know you" are all mild ways of afffirming that people in your circle of family or friends are different to you than just any old people driving past in a car.

Something teenagers (and other people who may be insecure in their interaction with you for whatever reason) sometimes do to get affirmation that they may need (so they don't feel like just a fly buzzing around your head) is to say something like this: "I don't want to bother you" or "You don't care about me" (Actually my daughter does this when I scold her.) I think you call this a slow pitch... or maybe fishing. She could just as easily ask me straight out "Do you care about me?" But slow pitches and fishing are OK. She is revealing to me a vulnerability that she has about my affection for her. What kind of cruelty would I be inadvertantly displaying to her if I did not answer such a plea for my reassurance that she is someone worthy of my time?

Adults aren't any different.

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10 Comments:

  • Thanks, Rose. This was very benefical reading.

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 6/18/2008 10:46 AM  

  • It is always good to encourage and affirm others. However, we should make sure that our praise is directly related to an aspect of their character rather than something they have no control over.

    By Blogger Jim, at 6/18/2008 5:19 PM  

  • Yes, people really need encouragement.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 6/18/2008 5:39 PM  

  • Good Morning Rose

    Once we know were unconditionally loved and accepted were able to relax in that love and grow in our relationships. We all become disappointed in ourselves at times and need that reasurring reminder that were loved. It sounds to me like your a great Mom and will provide a great envirement for healthy children to grow in. That's our greatest calling and until we have experinced God's unconditional love for us we will be trying to fill that void with something else that will never fill it. Our children just as ourself will flourish when they realize were in His hand and He will never let go! Were accepted worts and all, then in that envirement we don't won't to disappoint Him.


    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 6/19/2008 7:24 AM  

  • Missy,
    Thanks for stopping by. I am glad you liked it.

    Jim,
    Thanks for your thoughts. Can you explain to me why you think so? ...that our praise of our kids sould be directly related to an aspect of their character rather than something they have no control over?

    I had heard that before but I don't really understand it. For one thing (and I am sure you are not speaking to this) if I tell my child and reassure her that I love her - my love for her is something that she has no control over. But I know - you are talking about an example like telling a little girl how pretty she is. Right? Can you explain to me why it is not beneficial to tell people about their fine God-given qualties over which they have no control? I would love to hear your thoughts on that.

    Matthew!
    You changed your handle. I did not know tht was you when I got the email. I like it.

    Alvin,
    Thank you for your thoughts. I appreciate you. We do need to know we are accepted unconditionally. Amen.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 6/19/2008 12:24 PM  

  • Rose,

    I have one daughter that has an abundance of natural beauty. However to praise her for something that was a gift to her is like praising someone for the grace that God has given them.

    Rather than emphasizing a person's natural qualities, we should be focusing on the qualities they exhibit that reflect godliness. Else our children will grow up thinking strength and beauty are of paramount importance; something Hollywood is doing a good job at already.

    Man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.

    By Blogger Jim, at 6/19/2008 12:53 PM  

  • Jim,
    absolutely. I agree that this should not be the focus of "praise." I do think it is OK to affirm and recognize those things that God has given our children that they have no control over. This can help make them thankful for who God has made them. (and I am not just talking about looks.) Thanks for your thoughts and feel free to add any more that you have.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 6/19/2008 5:09 PM  

  • Jim,
    You are right. Praise for character is definitly encouraging to kids. Better things to say than such things as "you are a pretty girl" are affirming words about our love and care for those who are in our sphere.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 6/20/2008 10:47 AM  

  • Thanks. I needed to read this and think about this more. I have been so melancholy at home lately that I don't always think of how others are feeling when I am so down. I have been having a hard time as most of my friends I do bible studies with are all suffering severe depression and sometimes I don't know how to take it all and encourage my family when I am spending so much energy on encouraging friends.

    Pray for us Wisconsinites that God would be gracious to bring encouragement to my friends who suffer severe depression.

    By Blogger Shawn, at 7/05/2008 8:07 PM  

  • Shawn,
    I will pray - I am sorry that you are going through a rough time. It is hard when friends go through rough times and we weep with those who weep... but these times pass. May God strengthen you through it.

    God bless and thanks for visiting!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 7/07/2008 3:05 PM  

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