My son came in the back door from school and went straight upstairs. His shoes pounded the hardwood steps and then, his door slammed. I followed him and yelled from the bottom of the stairs, “Son, are you OK?” He cracked the door and yelled back, “YES.” I was in the middle of cooking dinner and had to get the meat off the grill, so I let it go.
But at dinner, he was visibly upset and very quiet. I tried to get him to talk, but he wasn’t having it. It wasn’t until after the dishes were in the sink that I realized I missed a chance to encourage my son. I blew an opportunity to help him through what he was facing. Finally, at bedtime, I was able to have good chats with him about what had happened that day. Sometimes, we step up in the moment and sometimes we drop that ball. But there are lots of ways we can share encouraging words for children after they’ve had a hard day. Here are 5 of them.
1. Turn toward them.
If you are picking up on the fact that your kids have had a hard day, physically turning toward them communicates that they have your ears and your support. Too often, dads miss this opportunity to listen and encourage our children because we are scrolling on our phones or flipping through channels. In the midst of a hard day, if your kids know they have a dad who will move in their direction no matter what, they will know that whatever they faced that day, home is a safe place.
2. Don’t try and fix.
Sometimes we have immediate solutions the second our kids tell us what’s going on.
Bobby is passionate about empowering homes across the nation. He loves helping parents own their responsibility as the primary faith trainers in their homes. He serves parents and adults at Kingsland Baptist Church in Katy, TX. He is a husband, father, pastor, coach, and author.