Why I Won't Be Saying 'Good Boy'
But seriously. . . the more that I think about the words I'm actually saying, Emmett, you are such a good boy; the more I realize how far that is from the message I truly want to get across.
I don't want our kids to behave just so they get approval from us. As Emmett grows and we make stabs in the dark at this tricky thing called parenting, I have a quiet hope inside that he will come to realize that his acceptance has more to do with him being our son that we are crazy about; and less to do with the way he performs in that role. Not only do I hope to show this with my actions, but also with the words I chose to say.
Instead of the blanket approval statement,
Emmett, you are such a good boy;
Emmett, thanks for being so patience in church.
Emmett, you were so helpful in the store.
Emmett, you loved your friends really well today
Maybe this is a small way to praise and encourage strong character. Because honestly, I'll take that any day over good behavior that's just for show.