What if the Numbers Translated?

I have been reading a lot lately about recognizing our natural and God-given personality and giftings.  I think it is something that is very important. By knowing ourselves, we are better able to minister to others in effective ways. I am sure that I will, at a later date, be sharing about some of the things I have learned.  For now though, I wanted to highlight something else that caught my eye in one of the books on knowing your strengths. In the book Strengths Finder 2.0, the author was speaking of engagement in the workplace.  Years of research has shown that employees are far more likely to be actively engaged in their jobs (i.e. work hard and enjoy them) when their supervisors focus on their strengths.  The information presented looked like this:

If your manager primarily:                          The chances of your being actively disengaged are:

Ignores you                                                      40%

Focuses on your weaknesses                        20%

Focuses on your strengths                               1%

Although I am not in the working world, I found this information fascinating. And, it was easy to understand why the results looked the way they did.  Who would want to work hard in a job that they hated and with a supervisor who only mentioned to them what they needed to improve in?  I wouldn’t last.

And it got me thinking…I wonder how closely this research would translate to the home.  What if the numbers looked like this?

If your PARENT primarily:                          The chances of your being actively disengaged (from family) are:

Ignores you                                                      40%

Focuses on your weaknesses                        20%

Focuses on your strengths                               1%

I am not saying that research does say this, but I bet it wouldn’t be far off.  What child would want to live in a home with a parent who only focuses on what they do wrong?  (I am not even addressing the issue of a parent who simply ignores their child). Parents that only mention where a child falls short can’t even begin to hope that their child will actually enjoy being with them when they are older.  No one wants to be around someone who makes them feel bad about themselves all the time.

The problem is, our job as parents involves a lot of bringing attention to the negative.  We are not only mandated by Scripture to train and discipline our children, but also we are doing a service to society and to every single person our child comes into contact with if we teach them qualities like kindness and self-control.  Proverbs 22:15 tells us, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”  As parents, we are expected to bring attention to the negative.  But how can we do this without making children feel defeated?  How can we do this without a child feeling like he or she doesn’t “measure up” to a parent’s standard? If the above research is revealing, we can see that focusing on our child’s weaknesses can easily lead to disengagement from the family. No one wants that.  Is there something that we can do to prevent it?

As I have been thinking and praying on this issue, I have been trying to focus on what a healthy balance between praise and correction looks like. I know that I need to do both and I want to do both in effective ways. I’m not interested in raising puffed-up and arrogant kids who think they can do no wrong and neither am I interested in raising kids who cannot see or understand that they were created in the image of God and that they bear a unique part of His personality in all its glorious worth.  So please bear with me over the next few posts as I “think out loud” on these issues and take stock of how I am doing as a mother.

If you have any words of wisdom for me, I’d love to hear them.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

2 thoughts on “What if the Numbers Translated?

  1. Becky

    I feel like I struggle over this very issue all the time. When my boys disobey and act without self control, I feel like I am always trying to bring it back to Scripture and a spiritual issue, because it IS a spiritual issue, but at the same time, I don’t want them to grow up thinking that all I did was throw Bible verses at them all the time when they weren’t obeying. I don’t want them to have negative impressions of Scripture, I want them to love it and honor it as the truth that it is. Will be curious to hear your thoughts.

    Reply
  2. Hollie

    It’s a hard balance! I struggle with it too 🙂 I think this is one I am going to bring up to my MIL. She raised 4 happy kids who now walk closely with the Lord. Two of whom are now pastors. I think (hope?) she will have some words of wisdom on the subject.

    Reply

Leave a Reply