Do you remember when your baby/ies, started walking and how you were their biggest cheerleader? I was reading this book - The Encouraging Parent and I got to this sub chapter entitled "Remember Your Child's First Step", as I read it I started laughing out loud because of the analogy the author used to point out how encouraging we were during this time. I am going to include it and then make a comment.
" Close your eyes and remember the first time you got on your knees and extended
your arms and encouraged your child to walk, You talked baby talk and made all kinds of strange but heart warming sounds, when your child took two little steps
and fell what did you do? Did you lecture her? Get up off the floor! How
many times to I have to tell you we don't walk like that in this family!, You
make me sick! You can't walk anyway! Crawl off to your room and get out of my
face! Of course not. What you did was pick up your baby and hug her, and kiss
her and tell her its going to be okay, you'll do better next time" - The Encouraging Parent Rod Wallace Kennedy, PhD
The author was so right in his assessment of how quickly we as parents can change our encouragement as our children grow older if we are not careful and as single parents we more vulnerable to this type of behavior just because our lives can seem and be so overwhelming. I felt very convicted after reading this. I am not as bad as his example but I can do so much better. As single parents we have to make an effort to work harder to encourage our children, just as we did when we were teaching them to walk, and to say Ma-Ma. Its easy to forget those days, especially when we see how quickly they learn and pick up on things that drive us crazy and borderline off the wall, we still have to remember they don't always pick other things up as easily as we would like, especially if we think it's something they should know, or if at that moment our minds can't possibly empathize with the level of importance that it is to them. When they don't know, we have to encourage. When they make us want to pull our hair out, and then turn around and write their numbers or letters backwards, or mess up on what we think is simple multiplication tables, or draw the most confusing picture -we still have to encourage them. We have to encourage them when the comforter on the bed is upside down and hanging to one side more than the other, and when their idea of clean is no where near ours or when they think they have done a big kid thing and its all wrong and backwards- We still have to encourage. The more I think about it, how would I feel if I called my mom and she said, I raised you, you should know that, now get off the phone, I would probably think that she didn't empathize with my situation, or was lacking compassion and my poor feelings would be hurt and I am 32 not 6 or 8! I will admit, I am not perfected in this area, but as I read I thought, what if God stopped encouraging me. What if he simply said, you know what the bible says, you know what you heard in church, now go away and stop asking me for help! I personally would be lost. So just as he encourages us with things I am pretty sure he knows we should know, we have to do the same for our children!
Be Blessed and Stay Encouraged while Encouraging!!!