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Parenting: Focus on the Positive

Parenting: Focus on the Positive

Not long ago, I realized that I had a problem and it was showing up in my parenting, but it was also affecting all areas of my life.  I naturally tended to focus much more on the negative than the positive.  I knew this needed to change but I wasn’t sure exactly how to change it.

I did find that I couldn’t just say, “I’m not going to say negative things anymore,” because my focus was still on the negative.  Instead, I needed something new to say to replace old, bad habits and phrases.

My mom has naturally always been an incredible encouragement to us kids, and now her grand-kids, and really to all people in her world.  So, as I came to my senses, I realized I had an expert at my fingertips, and I asked her to help me in this area!  Here is her advice.




Naturally I see the good in people. I believe being encouraged literally carves a path for children and adults alike to walk out the most positive life possible. Maybe it’s my nature. Maybe in a way it’s a positive reaction to my own childhood.  I am not sure where it came from other than being created this way. I have always believed in all of my children and grandchildren, and marvel at the way their eyes sparkle with delight as you speak life into them, believing in them, giving them dignity even in times of difficulty and correction.  

Here are a few things I remember when encouraging people in my world:

  • The positive things I say are extremely important, creative and contagious.
  • I encourage with intentionally and with regularity.
  • When frustrated, I slow down and assure I’m understanding, empathizing and thinking clearly before delivering correction.
  • I communicate without degrading or belittling.

THINK before you speak

As my kids grew up I know I believed in their innocence but I was also smart enough to see when they messed up!  I just didn’t  believe this was the way they WANTED to be or that they were defective or deficient in any way because of it.  I used their “failure” as a good time to teach lessons that built character. 

I don’t take on the role of correcting or trying to control my adult children but I do still encourage and believe in them. That’s a role I believe I will enjoy all my life. Whatever I taught them as children is now in motion and I am blessed to see them flourish and to be loving and wise in the good times as well as difficulties.  I love the relationships I have with all four of them and their husbands and wives!  They are all amazing parents with children of their own.  


As “Nonni” to my grandchildren I enjoy the years or experience that taught me to discern and be wise to their ways – even though I am tempted to see them as perfect…. Even more perfect than my own children!  I recognize now, more than ever, the authority and impact I have on their lives as a result of raising a generation already.  Beyond words and behavior towards them… I believe in them and speak life straight into the vision they are forming of themselves. When an occasional (ok, more than occasionally) impish behavior arises, I still believe and witness that loving and believing in them gets the most return on investment.

Don’t think I see ONLY the good. But I do understand seeing good is always a choice I can make, and I know this has made an impact that will be the lasting part of my legacy. These are my second generation of children growing up to be adults that in turn, will believe and invest in the generations to come. My goal is never behavior modification.  I want to see them the way their Heavenly Father sees them.  I want them to know how extremely loved they are, and to have that love drive their heart to change and grow.

WhoWeAreInJesusHere are some really practical phrases that you can memorize and use all the time to encourage your kids.

  • I appreciate you so much!
  • I really enjoy spending time with you.
  • You make me smile.
  • My life is so much better because you are in it.
  • I love you!
  • There is nobody in the world like YOU.

Although these are super simple, starting with a few phrases regularly is habit forming!

I know for me, being engaged in the moment and the person makes all the difference.  It’s so fun to see children and adults alike light up when you speak kind and loving words.

A great reference for a big list of affirmations for your child: 101 Words of Affirmation Every Child Wants to Hear {With Free Printable}.  Also, Encouraging Lunch Box Notes for Kids is a fun idea I found online.


Images from: pktfuel.comaedriel.blogspot.comkcm.org

Do you have any great phrases you use to encourage people in your world?


Disclosure: Kristin Stansberry is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.


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