I am reading a book called the Power of the Positive Mom with some other moms right now. I was a little skeptical at first because the title sounds like the power of positive thinking, but so far it is really good and biblically based.
One thing it talks about is the power of encouragement. And not just encouraging our children's skills/abilities/talents, but being encouraging when we see in them the fruit of the spirit.
"But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control". Galatians 5:22
It seems easy and natural to compliment kids on their skills. Wow, you can count to 10 you are so smart! Or, good job throwing that ball, you are really strong!" It doesn't quite come natural to me to compliment the more important qualities - love, joy, peace, patience, etc.
So I decided to start making this a habit now. I try to find these qualities in Cambry and encourage her in them.
When she is being really good during a diaper change I can tell her -You are being so patient!
Or when she is really smiling and happy I can tell her how she is full of joy.
It may seem silly doing it now, but maybe by the time she is old enough to understand I will be in a habit of doing it that it will just come naturally.
Sometimes the weight of responsibility the Lord has given me as a mom to raise Cambry seems overwhelming. I feel like we are in an "easy" stage now. As long as I feed her, change her diaper, and play with her I can't do too much damage :) But it is the years to come that seem challenging when how I discipline her, what I say, how I act, etc. will have such a significant and lasting impact on her. So I want to use this time now to practice and prepare for the task of parenting her in a way that is pleasing and honoring to the Lord. She is such a gift and I want to love her well!