My sister and I had a conversation the other day about how small children are constantly getting praise and affirmation. They walk, we clap and cheer. They smile for the camera we clap and cheer. They put a puzzle together, we clap and cheer. This continues on for several years, yet becomes less and less common as they grow older. Of course, we always encourage our children and teens, applauding their successes and wins, yet the older they become the less we do it for the small things. By the time they are young adults its for the the huge accomplishments like graduating college or landing a job. This is not to say we should follow around our older children and teens clapping and cheering like crazy people, but why not give affirmation more often AND on the little things.
Wouldn't it be great to make a 'big deal' out of the day-to-day things, for instance when your teen helps clean the kitchen or writes a really great paper, or does something selfless for someone else. For those adults in your life why not give a pat on the back for their victories; baking a yummy cake, orgazinging an event or teaching a great lesson.
I think we should start a movement, if you will, of letting those older kids, teens and adults both young and old know that what they do matters and doesn't get overlooked! Who says we can't earn a 'gold star' for effort or a job well done, even if its making a delicious meal, building something, coming up with a clever idea or sticking to a goal. Lets cheer each other on and take time to notice the accomplishments of those around us no matter how big or small!1 Thessalonians 5:11 - "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.."