an encouraging thought for dads

Hey dads – I wanted to share with you an enewsletter I recently got from “All Pro Dads.” Very encouraging to me, especially in light of the comedy era many of us grew up in, and especially in light of the teaching of Ephesians 4 to be careful that we edify rather than “tear down.” Check it out:

Your sarcasm tears up your children

According to Webster, the word “sarcasm” derives from a Greek verb that literally means “to tear flesh.” Anyone who has suffered from sharp, cutting, or wounding sarcastic remarks probably wasn’t surprised to learn that.  You know, it’s easy for fathers to be sarcastic with their kids and to unintentionally wound them deeply.  The father who pokes fun at his daughter for her weight gain… or who chides his son for showing emotion… he may think it’s all in good fun, but it can have devastating and long term consequences.  Asking yourself the question, “Is what I’m saying ultimately building up my children?” will go a long way in curbing unnecessary jesting.

Hear from Tony about substituting sarcastic comments for encouraging ones for our children.

And then see a powerful clip of a coach encouraging his player to push the limits.

Finally, here are ten specific compliments to give your children.

Huddle up and ask your kids tonight: Do I consistently say things to you that hurt you?

Just in case you don’t want to click on the link for the 10 Specific Compliments to Give Your Children, you can read them below, taken from the All Pro Dad website.

10 Specific Compliments to Give Your Children

Here are 10 compliments all kids need to hear:

  1. Recognize and compliment character_We live in a world where integrity is neither consistently taught nor widely expected. When our children demonstrate honesty, kindness, trustworthiness and reliability, that’s a great time to take them aside and offer a sincere compliment.
  2. Compliment obedience and respect_It’s too easy to fall into patterns of disapproval, where the only time we notice is when kids do wrong. Rather than waiting for disobedience or disrespect (then coming down like a ton of bricks) try noticing obedience and respect: “I don’t always remember to tell you, but you are an awesome young man, and I appreciate the way you treat your mother”.
  3. Appreciate them for simply being part of the family_”Every time I see you, I’m thankful that I’m a dad.” Kids need to understand that they are valued simply because they are.
  4. Compliment contributions to the family_“Clearing the table (sweeping the porch… putting out the trash) makes a real difference. I appreciate your contribution.” Kids need to understand that what they do makes a difference, that the adults notice, and that pitching in is a good part of family life.
  5. Compliment the quality of a child’s work_“This is one clean porch, mister!” “You mowed the lawn right up to the edge.  Way to go!  I’m so glad you take this job so seriously, it shows.” Doing a job at a high standard is always worth noting.
  6. We can compliment the effort, even when the result is not the best_“Your willingness to help makes me happy! Now we need to take a look at how you can get the trash to the curb without leaving a trail!” Compliments can be an important part of our role as teachers.
  7. It’s important that we compliment children when they achieve something new_“Wow! That’s a huge leap forward for you there in math, pal.” “Awesome! I’m not at all surprised after you worked so hard.” A well-placed compliment can keep a positive ball rolling.
  8. We can compliment sense of style even if we don’t exactly share their taste_We don’t want to hedge kids into being clones of dad, or mom. “When it comes to putting together an outfit, you certainly have some flair!” “I can tell that you put a lot of thought into the way you look.” “I’ve never seen a table set quite like that before – you have an amazing imagination!” It’s not useful to limit compliments to the narrow range of our own taste.
  9. Compliment steps toward a long-term goal_“Son, the improvement you’re showing is commendable. Thanks for trying.” Waiting for perfection before we’re willing to dish out a compliment is inefficient, may dampen enthusiasm, and does little to help the process of growth.
  10. Try complimenting their friends_But only do this when you can do it honestly! “Your friends are the greatest!” “That Jimmy is such a positive young man.” “You know, it gives me a lot of confidence to know you use common sense in choosing your friends.”

May we place these in our hearts and put them into practice.

Love y’all. Thankful to be learning how to father together with you.

-jason

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