The Triple "A" Seal of Good Parenting

Dr. Marlin Howe
Pulpit Helps, Oct. 1992, p. 12

A parent's unconditional affirmation involves hundreds of little and big messages each day by the parents which say one thing-- that their children are very valuable.On a daily basis parents should try to communicate to their children that they are very worthy.Affirmation communicates to the mind of a child that he or she is very valuable and important.

A parent's unconditional affection does for a child's emotion what affirmation does for a child's mind--the child knows that he or she is greatly loved. Not only does a child know he or she is loved, he or she feels loved. Children feel emotionally valuable through loving words, hand holding, squeezes, hugs and kisses and looks of endearment. Children usually enjoy receiving affection well into adulthood.

Only when a parent affirms and affects their children may they conditionally appreciate him or her. Affirmation and affection says to the spirit, "I like who you are." Appreciation says to the will, "I like what you do." Praise is one reward that can never be overdone.Compliment your children. Tell them that they have done a good job, then build up their spirit by telling them how neat they are. Children, however, do not always act praiseworthy. At times, parents will not appreciate what their children do. Discipline is in order. But, discipline should attempt to shape the will without damaging the spirit. Thus, the effective parent must continue to affirm and to give affection even as the child is being disciplined. To do otherwise will embitter the children.

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