Teaching our Children to be Encouragers (+ free Valentine's Cards)

Teaching our Children to be Encouragers (+ free Valentine's Cards)

Download the Words of Affirmation Valentine's Day Cards

When writing this blog post, I knew it would be a popular one because who doesn't want to see their children grow into being givers of encouragement? We all want to be able to say of our children that they see the best in others and use their words to bless and build up, not tear down (especially with their siblings!).

Model Encouragement for Our Kids

Words carry so much weight, either positively or negatively. Here's the first question though: Are WE encouragers? Do we use our words to build up our spouses, children, and friends? Maybe we don't tear down, but are we intentional to build up? Before I get into how to practically teach and train our children to be encouragers, let's look at ourselves first. After all, our children will model what they see and hear in our homes and in our relationships, more than what we tell them to do with our words.

Give Words of Affirmation 

The words spoken over our children are what they tend to believe about themselves. Even in the midst of irritating behaviors and attitudes, I try to make it a habit to think about what I love about my children and speak it out on a regular basis. My biggest advice is to be specific and to do it often, even if it feels uncomfortable or awkward. The more you do it, the more normal it will feel. This is true for your spouse and friendships as well. 

Here are some questions to sit and think about to fuel your words of affirmation for your children. Try sitting with a journal and answering these questions about each child. Since Valentine's Day is coming up, you could use this as an opportunity to write your child a love letter including some of these words of encouragement.

  • What are some of your favorite attributes of your child? (Helpful, kind, patient, etc.)
  • How have you seen God working in their life? What habits or character traits do you see improving?
  • How have you seen your child grow recently? Have they been more patient or worked hard to learn a new skill?
  • How have you or your family’s life been better with your child in it?
  • What are you praying about lately for your child?
  • What makes your child uniquely them? (Do they tell really good jokes? Have they never met a stranger? Are they wise beyond their years?) 

Train Our Children in Encouragement

Modeling words of affirmation is a very important first step, but we also need to intentionally train our children how to practice Biblical encouragement in their relationships. Some children are natural encouragers, and some need help practicing this skill. Not only is it important from a spiritual standpoint, but it also creates deep family and friendship connections and creates positive and meaningful interactions between siblings and friends. When we call out the unique way God made others and how they are becoming more like Jesus in their character, we help nurture their spiritual growth and their callings.

Teaching our children this kingdom principle allows them to be a part of a friend or family member’s faith story. It also pleases God to encourage others because he made them and loves them. When we speak out how God sees them, we are being God's words to our friends.

Photo courtesy of Little Minds Creative

Memorize Scripture as a Family

One effective way to get biblical principles and truths in our children's hearts is to memorize scripture. It would be fun to memorize one or all of these scriptures together about building others up with words. 

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds" Hebrews 10:24

“Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24

"Encourage one another, and build each other up." I Thessalonians 5:11 

If you're looking for fun ways to incorporate scripture memory into your children's lives, try Light the Way. This is our Scripture Memory Curriculum that includes educational and hands-on activities to memorize passages of scriptures about loving God, serving others, forgiving others, and more. 

Bless Others With Encouragement

One idea this Valentine's Day is to sit down with your children and help them brainstorm how their friends bless their lives. Rather than just giving out store-bought cards that their friends will throw away, try giving them words of affirmation that will plant seeds in their hearts of love and growth. 

We made these sweet and simple Words of Affirmation Valentine's Cards to share with your families this year. One side has scripture and the other a simple paragraph with blanks for you or your child to fill out.

Using card stock, make sure to print these Valentines double-sided! Have your children cut them out and follow the prompts to write encouraging messages! For younger kids, they can tell you how to fill out the card
and you can write it out for them.

Dear friends name,
I’m thankful for your friendship because you show me kindness when you play with me. You make the world a better place because you are so funny!

Download the Words of Affirmation Valentine's Day Cards


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