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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Question (05/24/12)

By Connie K Cameron


I Got married for the first time when I was eighteen. I had my first child that same year. Two more children followed, in the next three years. When these older three kids were small, I went through a time of learning how to be an effective parent. I would ask them to clean up their room, allowing them plenty of time, but when I got back the room would still be a mess. Every stuffed animal off it’s shelf, every toy out of the box and on the floor. I tried threats like, “If you don’t clean up that mess, no dessert.” I would come back and the room would still be a mess. Then I would have to go through with my threat, to show them that I meant business.

After that day, they understood that I meant what I said, but they were just sad and angry and their room, still a mess. I tried all kinds of things. I couldn’t believe some of the things I would catch myself saying. “While you are living under my roof.” And, “Someday when you have kids of your own.” My kids could tell I was angry with them, so they would put a few things away, but only enough effort to get mom off their backs, for a while.

One day I was sitting in the middle of their room, every toy on the floor around me, I was thinking, “I really hate this.” When I thought of a question, and I tried it.

I asked my daughter, Christina, “Will you put this ONE toy in the box?” She said, “Okay.” As soon as she did, I praised her saying, “Oh, thank you!” She liked that, it made her feel good, I could see it on her face. Then on her own, she picked up another and put it away, and looking at me for the same approval, I gave it to her.

My son, Joe, saw how happy I was with Christina and he put a toy away, then my youngest, Elizabeth joined in. Pretty soon they were racing each other to put away as many toys as they could, and I was praising them all! I didn’t have to get angry and they didn’t have to feel bad, it was so much easier when I began to focus on what was good instead of only the bad.

I think we can use this learning experience to help in any relationship. We would do more good, strengthening and encouraging each other. Try love and praise with your kids, try love and praise with your husband or wife. Try it in your Church or at your work. Make a list of every good thing you can think of about the people in your lives and let your focus be on those things.

Philippians 4:8, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praise worthy-think about such things.”

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This article has been read 226 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 05/31/12
A very good lesson illustrated here, to bring forward the accompanying scripture. Loved it. Thank you. Paise and love, I've found--always gets things done making all parties feel worthy and good. Thank you.

God Bless~
Janice Cartwright05/31/12
God made us with this great hunger for praise didn't He? You've hit on a key issue in our relationships: praise and thanksgiving, when we give it we bless ourselves as well as others. You did a good job of illustrating this principle by sharing how your little ones reacted to scolding, responded to praise.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/02/12
This is a lovely devotion. You start off connecting with your reader right away by sharing a part of your life. And as an added bonus it's helpful advice. Then you show a Biblical example to back up your points. Nicely done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/08/12
Congratulations for ranking 9th in level 1!