Top 3 Parenting Mistakes-Part 1

(This post was written by Matt Grimes, Middle School Ministry Pastor)

The other day, I read a secular article on the top ten mistakes that parents make in raising teenagers.  It was a very interesting article, giving some great ideas and suggestions for parenting our teens.  I want to take my top 3 and spend the next 3 weeks taking a closer look at them.  Let the countdown begin…

Parenting Mistake # 3:  Pointing Out Only the Negative, Expecting Only the Positive. 

When it comes to our kids, we expect great behavior, and positive results.  The challenge is that type of behavior takes great encouragement and praise to attain.  Unfortunately when it comes to parenting, we find ourselves quickly jumping on pointing out all the negative behaviors that they engage in.  I find myself in this same situation on many of our middle school trips.  The things that gain my attention are the behaviors that are out of line, instead of the behaviors that are right.  Our teens crave positive attention and praise.  How are you doing in this are?  Are you seeing the positive things that they are doing and giving them the praise they need for it?  I want to remind us that our kids will become what we make of them.  Let me explain.  If all we do is punish our student for the negative behaviors that they do, and never praise them for the positive behaviors, then they will start to believe negative thoughts about themselves and embrace a personality to match that behavior.  If they receive praise for good behavior, they are likely to embrace a more positive view of themselves and a personality to match it.  Let me be clear, I am not saying we should never discipline our students, but if all we ever do is discipline unwanted behavior, we are missing half the picture.  We have to train ourselves to recognize and celebrate positive behavior.  It is a choice we get to make, so what are you focusing on the positive or the negative?