Learning how to encourage your child when they are discouraged can be challenging and even grow more challenging as they grow older.
We definitely do not want to give a false sense of hope to our kids. We want to be realistic, yet we don’t ever want them to give up. It is so easy to give up, we even know that as adults.
In a world full of bullies and disappointment, our encouragement can mean a world of difference to them. I wish I would have realized that 20 years ago.
I would say that before I grew to know the Lord and as a young single mom, I was NOT an encouraging person.
I had low self-esteem and had no idea how to be a mom. There I was, working in the military full-time and feeling defeated. I was depressed often and I remember just going through the motions of life.
Now that I look back at it, I was turning into my own mother – not very affectionate and stern, but worse. I didn’t like myself, yet I had a whole other human being to raise.
I don’t know how my daughter (now 22) made it with me being mean for so many years of her life.
Had it not been for God’s grace, she probably wouldn’t be talking to me right now. I am unsure if my daughter ever heard an encouraging word from me as a kid. Even if she did, the negative words must have overshadowed them 100 fold.
They say it takes like a hundred positive things for someone to hear, in order to forget ONE negative thing they remember. By this point, my daughter should have disowned me – BUT GOD.
Today we have the absolute best relationship. She is grown and on her own now, but there is not a day that doesn’t go by where I don’t check-in and let her know how proud I am of her or that I support her. My daughter gave me a second chance at being a mom and I don’t take that for granted.
Maybe I am making up for all the bad times, but I think it is more that God has given me a new heart and given her the heart to forgive me.
To HIM be the glory.
Now I try to encourage my kids in whatever way I can. The world will do enough of tearing them down, and it is that much more that we can be encouraging.
My awakening came after I grew to know Jesus. I was still not the best mom, three children in and I knew I was different, but not that much. I wanted to serve the Lord and door after door kept closing.
I reached out to a Titus 2 friend of mine and told her how much I wanted to serve the Lord somehow. She pointed me right to Christ and said, maybe the Lord wants you to tend to the ministry he has given you right in your home first.
That hit me like a ton of bricks. There I was, wanting to please the Lord and looked straight over the gifts he gave me – right in front of my very eyes. So that’s where my journey began to be an encourager vice a discourager, an encourager vice a pessimist, or an encourager instead of a mean mom.
God indeed sets us free, and I am eternally grateful.
Choose to be an encourager.
I don’t know if there is a mom out there that needs to read this. Even if just one can read this message, I am grateful. Even if your mouth has torn down your kids, you can stop today. His mercies are new every morning and his love endures forever.
If you don’t know where to start. That is OK. You only have to start today.
Take one step and day at a time. Begin with God’s good Word.
Featured Resource: The Keep Quiet Challenge – Learning How to Manage Your Mouth
Do words just fly out of your mouth when you open it? Maybe you are tired, stressed out, worried, or just irritated and you don’t mean to take it out on your family – but you do. When we lash out, even if unintentionally, it harms those we love.
It’s time to change, friend. Let me share with you practical steps to work through several different areas that may have taken root in your heart and live out through your lips.
Here are some scriptures to memorize and to meditate on daily to be the encourager your child needs:
Psalm 19:14 (ESV) – “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock, and my redeemer.”
Hebrews 3:13 (ESV) – “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
Romans 14:19 (ESV) – “So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV) – “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
Proverbs 17:22 (ESV) – “A joyful heart is a good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
Psalm 127:3 (ESV) – “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”
Ephesians 4:29 (ESV) – “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Grab some more resources to help you with encouraging your children:
FREE Sketchbook and Printable Prompts to Encourage a Growth Mindset | The Kitchen Table Classroom
365 Daily Quotes Of Encouragement FREE Printable | We’re Parents
FREE Printables to Inspire & Encourage Kids | Sunny Day Family
1 Simple and Powerful Way to Encourage Your Child (FREE PDF) | Like Minded Musings
FREE Coloring Postcards: Scriptures of Encouragement | Faith and Good Works
Here are some practical steps to take to encourage your child effectively:
- Read Scripture with your children.
- Pray with your children; pray for them out loud and thank God for them.
- Encourage kids to read Scripture on their own.
- Pray for true salvation for your children.
- Teach your child about biblical truths.
- Sing praises, hymns, and worship songs with your children.
- Encourage your child when they make good or wise decisions.
- Have your children memorize scriptures that affirm their identity in Christ.
- Give your child hugs.
- Make time for your kids, quality time.
- Pay attention to your child’s interests and surprise them with small gifts or trips that will bring them joy – for no reason at all.
- Point out things you love about them.
- Never stop telling them you love them.
- Don’t criticize, rather help them improve.
- LISTEN. Listening to your child when they talk to you is crucial for them to feel encouraged. Look at them in the eye and acknowledge what they say. Sometimes what they think is disheartening, surprisingly sad, or silly. Just listen and respect what they say. Laugh with them often.
Be an encourager to your children, be a parent that builds up and doesn’t tear down. Life is so short, not a day is promised, and second chances are never guaranteed. So, learn how to encourage your child and make every day with them count.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!