Don’t Tell Your Kids They’re Great
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Flattery will get you nowhere, and that’s especially true when it comes to praising our kids. When we indiscriminately lavish our kids with insincere words of praise, we may actually put them at a disadvantage instead of bolstering their ability to achieve. Kids who internalize their parent’s over-inflated views of themselves not only tend to become narcissistic, but they also put out less effort when it comes to applying the gifts and abilities they do have.

In their book Nurture Shock, authors Bronson and Merryman site a study of fifth graders which revealed that kids who were praised for “being smart” did not perform as well as those who were encouraged for their effort. The study found that “emphasizing effort gives a child a variable that they can control,” but when kids were praised for just being smart, they tended to discount the importance of their own effort.

Simply telling children a blanket statement like, “You’re great,” may bolster their ego for a moment, but it won’t necessarily help them in the long run. Yet, parents shouldn’t be too quick to swing the pendulum in the other direction either. Research also shows that when encouragement is given in the right way, it can be a powerfully motivating factor in our children’s lives. How do parents know how to encourage their kids without overindulging? Here are a few tried and true principles to follow:

• Be sincere and specific when praising your kids.
• Commend your kids for their effort and hard work.
• Guard against comparing your kids to others, and instead encourage personal bests.
• Notice and highlight positive actions which your kids choose to exhibit toward others such as kindness, patience, sharing and compassion.
• Encourage learning and growth through their challenges and mistakes.
• Teach your kids the importance of encouraging and cheering for others.

Instead of simply telling your kids that they are awesome, use precise words to highlight their hard work, wise choices and honest achievements. When we offer sincere and specific words of affirmation, we not only give the gift of encouragement to our child, but we tie it with a bow and attach a note that says, this is meant only for you. Let us be givers of good gifts through our words and our presence.

For more keys to being a positive parent check out:
The Power of a Positive Mom

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book goes to ENGAGE Parenting Initiative, encouraging moms in at-risk communities.

When your Faith Feels Weak
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Have you ever struggled with your faith or dealt with feelings of doubt? Most of us wrestle with faith issues at some point in our lives. Perhaps your prayers have not been answered the way you thought they should. Or maybe you have been walking through unexpected difficulties, and you question where is God in all of this? When your faith feels weak, do not despair but rather take your doubts to a loving God. This month at Positive Woman Connection we will be talking about how to deal with the doubts that creep into your heart. Join us on Tuesday, April 28 from 12-1:00 at Bent Tree Country Club in north Dallas. We look forward to seeing you, and we encourage you to invite a friend to join you.
To make your reservations, click here or email Donna at

Come to the Table
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When my kids were young, I tried to make dinner time around the table a priority, and it wasn’t easy. Between soccer practice and gymnastics and homework, it was hard to bring everyone together at the table. Yet, recent studies reveal that having dinner together as a family at least four times a week has a positive effect on a child’s development. A consistent family dinner time has been linked to lower risk of obesity, substance abuse, and eating disorders, and an increased chance of graduating from high school. Time around the table together not only provides an opportunity for conversation, but it also bolsters a sense of security and togetherness. Studies also show that children who eat dinner with their family are more likely to understand, acknowledge, and follow the boundaries and expectations set by their parents.
Now if we can see the benefits of time around the dinner table together as a family, how much more is our life enriched as we sit at the table of our heavenly Father? Dining with Him and enjoying the rich nourishment from His word will not only give us a sense of security and togetherness, but will also make us more aware of His direction and desires for our lives. Spending time with our Father develops a deeper and richer relationship with Him and helps us in relating to others as well. Whether we are talking about family dinners or focused time with our heavenly Father, it begins with a decision, recognizing that this time is important enough in my life that I will make every effort to make it happen.
It’s easy to become content with being “lukewarm” in our spiritual lives and actions. Instead of seeing our need for Him, we try to work it out ourselves and blow through our day in our own strength. It’s interesting that Jesus addressed this very tendency in the book of Revelation. He said He would rather us be hot or cold than to be “lukewarm.” And then he added the antidote to spiritually lukewarm-ness, “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Revelation 3:20). It’s not just an antidote; it’s an invitation. God wants us to fellowship with Him, to dine with Him and commune with Him. Our part is to listen to His voice, open the door, and spend time with Him. This is how we guard against being lukewarm, and are empowered to live a vibrant and meaningful life.
As we abide with Him, we find strength and guidance. We experience a peace that passes all understanding as we give our cares and worries to Him. We gain a new perspective on life as we thank Him and praise Him for all He has done and will do and is doing in our lives. God has wired us in such a way that we find our soul’s refreshment from our fellowship with Him. As a father has compassion on His children, so our Father has compassion on us. He welcomes us into His loving embrace each day. How can we not accept the invitation to sit at the table with Him?

This is an excerpt from Becoming a Woman of the Word. To get your copy, go to

Join me April 30 – May 2
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Day 40
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He is Risen!
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”
Matthew 28:5,6

The truth of the resurrection has powerful implications for our lives. It proves that Jesus is the Son of God, demonstrating His power of death, but it is also reminds us that we serve a risen Savior. His power is still at work in our lives today. If Jesus was simply dead in the grave, what victory would there be in our lives? What hope would we have? But because He lives, we can face tomorrow, knowing that death is not the end of our story. As we place our faith in Jesus, we can live a new life in the power of His Spirit. As the old hymn reminds us, “You ask me how I know He live – He lives within my heart!”
Rejoice! Celebrate the victory we have because He is risen indeed! Jesus, our hearts are overflowing with joy, thankful for your sacrifice on our behalf. We love you and adore you. We rejoice that you are alive and at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us.

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