The Importance of Praise

Do you know anyone who doesn’t like compliments? When working with children compliments are crucial. I was told years ago that for every criticism, you should find ten praises when working with kids. One misplaced criticism can wound a child much more than you realize. If you attend a church where there is an active bus ministry this can be challenging at times. Many times, these children come from homes that are negative. Everyday some of them hear how horrible they are, or they won’t amount to anything. Over time, this can start a negative thought process and they start to believe what they hear. Their self-esteem is wrecked and they grow up believing those lies. They never reach their potential because their bar was set too low to begin with. How can we reach a child who thinks that no matter what they do, they are never going to amount to anything? How can you explain to a child whose dad ridicules them, that Jesus, our Heavenly Father loves them unconditionally? How can you take a child whose self-esteem is so torn and teach them they are so wonderfully made in His image and they are worth loving?

We reach them with praise. Find ways every time you see them to give compliments. Be very conscious of when they answer questions correctly. Be conscious of when they reach out to help a smaller child. Don’t be afraid to say things like “I am so glad you came today.” You will be surprised at just how far that goes. They are going to want to come back to places they feel safe and wanted. I can say this with certainty because I was a bus kid. I came from a home where nice things were very rarely said. I had plenty of Sunday school teachers and children’s church leaders who encouraged me and I always wanted to come back. I craved that positive attention.  I am very certain that today I am serving God because of that.

We can reach hurting children if we put in the effort. It may seem very small, but a compliment goes a long way. Who can you compliment this week?


One response to "The Importance of Praise". Comments are closed for this post.
  • Maggie says:

    This is so vital; thank you for sharing this. Adults can make a child feel worthless just simply by never saying anything good – it’s not just about NOT saying the bad.