“Say ‘no’ when you must, but ‘yes’ when you can”. This is a statement I have found myself thinking numerous times the last few months. Usually, the thought comes to mind after I have said no, either repeatedly or harshly, to my children. It’s almost as if my mind is harkening me back to the joy, privilege, and responsibility I have as a father.

Parenting is one of those unique realities of life in which the joys and sorrows of the experience seem to go hand in hand. One moment I am wrestling with my kids, laugher exudes the room, and there is no where else I’d rather be. The very next moment, tears, complaints, and sharp words overshadow the once joyous scene. Needless to say the current pandemic (COVID-19) and quarantine (or semi-quarantine) has made the contrast excruciatingly obvious in my life.

Words are more powerful than most people imagine. So what we say to our kids over time really does matter.

Reggie Joiner

What I have come to realize is that I am naturally bent toward correcting less than acceptable behavior (a good thing) and need to work on acknowledging positive behavior. In other words, the “NO” comes much more easy for me than the “YES”. This is one reason why I gleaned so much from Reggie Joiner’s article “Catch Them Doing It Right“. In it he outlines 4 ways to build your “acknowledge positive behavior” muscle.

I hope you enjoy the article as I did, #3 is something we are working on establishing in our home. What was your favorite idea? What would you add? As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!