Whiteboard Quote of the Day – Don’t Be This Guy…Be Encouraging

encourage = Adjective: give support, confidence, or hope to (someone)

I consider myself someone who encourages people.  I actually believe that is one the gifts God has given me…the gift of encouragement.  I had an incident last week, with my daughter, in which I was far from encouraging.  After it happened, I realized that I need some encouragement with my gift of encouragement.  That is my focus this week. Being encouraging so I don’t repeat what happened last week.

Discouraging Dad

One morning last week I came downstairs to find our daughter feeding our 2 year old son breakfast.  He likes Raisin Bran Crunch (like his daddy), and she had him sitting at the table while she fed him.  This was rare because she normally fixes and eats her own breakfast; maybe fixing something for him when done.  I have come down many times to find him walking around not eating, while she is enjoying her breakfast and reading.

This particular day her cereal was getting soggy, while she was feeding baby bro.  I come down and the first thing I noticed was his cereal bowl had a ton of milk.  My first words were “that is too much milk!  He doesn’t need that much milk…he’ll make a mess.”  Yep, go ahead and say it, “BIG DUMMY“!  She immediately broke down.  I can’t recall exactly what she said, but she was hurt because she did what I asked her to do, and she even sacrificed eating her own food.  Yet, she received no praise, no encouragement, no hope.  Huge fail!

Encouraging Dad

Of course, I wish I had a “do over”.  I wish I could rewind the tape, and say something encouraging, which she deserved.  I could have told her, “great job”, “thanks”, “that was nice of you to feed your brother!”, almost anything except what I said.  After saying something encouraging, I then could have taken the bowl of cereal and poured out the excess milk, then finished feeding him myself, while she got back to eating her breakfast.  I do not get a “do over” of that incident, but fortunately I can learn from that mistake and choose encouraging words the next time.

Look for Opportunities

I am now looking for that next opportunity.  I encourage you to do the same.  Although we don’t get do overs, and we can’t go back in time to change the past, we can choose to make better choices and use encouraging words in future situations.  That is the choice I am making.  To not be that guy mentioned above, but to be encouraging.

Question: Have you ever been on the giving or receiving end of a situation like that?  Please share your thoughts and feelings on that in the comment section below.

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  • Thank you Sharon. Yes, I did apologize. I believe being honest and open enough to admit a wrong and apologize to our kids helps to model it for them…so they will be more comfortable in doing so when they make mistakes.

    btw…great post you linked to!

    • I am delighted to hear this. You are so right about modeling that for your kids. Good for you!
      There is more wisdom and knowledge how dad’s and words impact children in this day and age and I’m grateful for it. One of our pastors pointed out in his Father’s Day message that even “kidding” can damage a child if you are laughing and pointing out their weaknesses. He agreed with you, to focus on affirmation and encouragement. I know it’s not easy sometimes. The pastor also said, “God gives us “do overs” and second chances and forgiveness. I am grateful for that because I need them.: -)
      Thanks for the nice comments about the post I wrote. Encouraging healthy relationships is a passion of mine.
      May God continue to bless you with wisdom and knowledge as you raise your children. Sometimes I think our children teach as as much as we teach them ~ at least they cause us to grow a great deal. 🙂 On this Father’s Day, I pray blessings on you.

      • True indeed, as I learn a lot from my children.

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  • Rebecca Fyfe

    As a parent of seven, I can say that yes, I have been in situations like that, and like you, I try to be encouraging rather than discouraging. Sometimes the first words that come to your mind need to be held in while you think about what you say.

  • Use those oops moments as lessons for your kids. They need to know that we all make mistakes and can learn from those mistakes. It doesn’t have to be a total fail! As soon as you realized it (or even now, though she probably barely remembers it), share with her that you acted spontaneously and not in the best way. Share with her your mistake and how you plan to do better so she can learn from you. We don’t have to be perfect for our kids (that’s impossible anyway) but we should be a great example to them and great examples include learning from failure.

    • GREAT insight Nicole! Thx for sharing!

  • As a parent we all fail from time to time. Thankfully our kids are forgivers and recover back nicely. Something I learned is to apologize and ask for forgiveness from our kids. They know we aren’t perfect! But they love us anyway.

    • Agreed Shawn…thanks for the encouragement!

  • It’s funny how we jump to correct when it comes to the ones we love the most.  I’ve been there too, as have most parents, I’m sure.  I will join you this week to take extra care to look for opportunities to catch my lovely babies doing something right.

    Thanks for sharing this story – I felt I was right there in the kitchen with you.

    • Thanks Dee!  Probably good you weren’t in the kitchen with me…I may have snapped at you too! lol 

  • Sonjalhaller

    I’ve been there! I hate it when my first reaction is to correct instead of encouraging or at the very least – redirecting.  You’re right, it’s up to us to look for the next opportunities to encourage.

    • Thanks Sonjalhaller! Hopefully I will have a new post to share with an example of a very encouraging moment. 🙂