Posted in Thoughts from Kids, Thoughts from Life

Praise, Not Just Correction

Remember WeatherBug post number one on Wednesday? Well, this is number two…and it’s a completely different train of thought.

A few days ago as alert after alert sounded to let me know that the flood warning had been adjusted by a few tenths of a foot (and I was once again tempted to turn the alerts off!), it dawned on me that WeatherBug will not be giving any joyful sound when the flood waters finally recede and the rivers return to normal depth. It will just stop sounding, providing peaceful silence in the place of rejoicing.

How often do I do that with my children?

I have good kids. I am quite proud of them. They’re not perfect – far from it. But, they’re really good. They are smart, funny, mostly well-behaved (although they very frequently have their “moments”), and so very precious to me. Yes, I’m biased and not afraid to admit it!

But, as good as my kids are, I never want them to settle where they are. I want them to excel. To grow. To expand. To improve. To learn more. I want them to always see that there are higher grounds to reach.

Unfortunately, my desires to see them continually grow sometimes make me sound more like WeatherBug alerts than a proud mom.

When I walk into their rooms, I see the cleaning progress they’ve made, mentally note that I’m pleased with their progress, and then verbally point out all they have left.

When they have a great paper in school, I still mark at the top the number of things they missed and go over that with them, frequently forgetting to praise them for all they did right.

I verbally acknowledge the warnings while silently praising the progress.

Now, I know that there are parents who go overboard in acknowledging the good and refusing to correct the bad, thinking that keeps them from crushing little spirits. I wouldn’t want to go to that extreme. But, I know there has to be a balance. I’m a mother, not a weather alert system. It is important for me to be verbal with the praises as well as the correction.

So, I’ve been trying to do just that the past couple of days. I am trying to be more reserved with my verbal correction. I am trying to be more more verbal with my praise. And, the attitudes of my children have changed already! They have become more proud of their accomplishments and more diligent in their work.

All because of a little praise from me.


I am a homeschooling preacher's wife and managing editor for the Well Planned Gal. But, I also love to write just for the fun of it. I also process best through writing, and my thoughts tend to flow from things I learn through the Bible, interacting with my family, and moving through life in general. Thanks for joining me in my not quite ordinary journey.

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