As a mom, one of my biggest weaknesses is that I am not a good encourager. I am quick to point out when my kids are being selfish or mean, lazy or unrespectful. And that may be true of them at the moment. But am I as quick to point out when my kids are kind, respectful, hard-working, and unselfish? Maybe if I encouraged them when they are displaying the positive character traits that I want to see in our kids, they would do it more often.
My oldest daughter and I have been the ones to lock horns the most. Maybe because she is the oldest; maybe because she is a lot like me. However, this past spring a friend of my mom asked me how she was doing. I had said it had been a hard year for her, and she said, “Sometimes they just need more love.” And she then showered love on her and encouraged her the rest of the night in a discreet way. That stuck with me.
In the tween and teen years, often what our tweens and teens need is love and encouragement. They need to see us rooting for them. When I got the opportunity to do this sponsored post from Yoplait Go Big, I decided to do it– and to do it from my heart. In case you have never heard of Go Big, Go Big is a new, large yogurt pouch designed specifically with teens in mind. It has just the right amount of yogurt that is made with real fruit and just the right amount of sweetness to satisfy a teen’s growing hunger.
Go Big gets it — they understand that all over teens are doing BIG things. They are taking hard courses in school, doing amazing sports, working jobs, and volunteering and giving back to their communities. They recognize that the teen years can be hard, but they want to encourage teens to continue to be amazing.
Even though teens are seen all over doing BIG and AMAZING activities and subjects in school, that is not necessarily how I want to encourage my teen. You see, today’s activities will fade one day and new activities will take their place. Good grades are important (and she knows that!), but getting an 100% is not what’s most important in life. Talents and skills are good, but not the answer to life. I’ve seen kids that have amazing talents and skills, they have high GPA’s and are top athletes, yet they go down the wrong path in life and ruin all that potential. Then I’ve seen other kids who are “normal”, yet they have a big heart that is yielded to God and His desires, and they are happy and fulfilled with direction in life to do what is right and good. That is what I want in my daughter.
And that is what I have seen in my daughter. Last year, we transferred her out of a school she had been in all her life and put her in another school that had all online classes, no teachers to help her, no sports she could play in, and music classes that she had to do that were not her favorite. In a matter of one week, we flipped her life upside down. Then this year, we move her 20 hours away to a new state, new school, new church, and new friends.
Was her attitude always perfect? Of course not — but whose is? When I think back on my junior high years and how they were my hardest years, yet my life was very stable with no changes; I am rebuked. When I remember how I cried at age 15 because I couldn’t have my best friend in my cabin at camp for one week and yet she has had to say bye to all her friends (and with a pretty good attitude), I realize she is doing an awesome job.
And she needs to know it. So thanks to Go Big’s urging, I wrote a letter to her. Here are a couple portions of the letter:
More than amazing talents and skills and more than good grades, I want my daughter to have a heart that is a BIG heart . A heart that loves God with all her might, a heart that loves her neighbor as herself. I want to encourage her to GO BIG with her heart; because if she does, she will always have a happy life.
If you are like me and you find that you don’t praise or encourage enough, HERE is a printable that you can stick on your refrigerator or some other place to help you remember to be an encourager.
And on those big days in your kid’s life, give them a pouch of Go Big! It will help give them energy to do what they need to do, and it will remind them that they are able to the big things in life that they need to do. Plus it easy to “grip and rip” and eat on the go! Perfect for the busy teenager.
Find #YoplaitGoBig at your local WalMart and many other stores!