Encouragement means to hearten, strengthen and build courage for another. There are so many ways to be encouraging. Here’s a simple list for starters.

Plan activities together – have fun together consistently

Be interested in each other’s activities without putting a heavy emphasis on performance

Ask each other for help

Notice and point out what is positive or working well

Share the work around your home and work together whenever possible

Share your feelings and opinions and listen to each other

Give choices rather than telling others what to do

When a child makes a choice, support the decision without rescuing or taking over. As much as possible, let the experience itself do the teaching.

Give credit generously

Share hopes, successes and challenges together

A fun way to share what is on your mind: Rose, Bud, Thorn.
Rose: a good thing about your day or week
Bud: a hope or something you’re looking forward to
Thorn: a current challenge

Resist the temptation to “fix” anything. Simply listening is encouraging!

Encouragement questions You and your family might answer one weekly over dinner, before bed, or during your family meeting:

  • If you could wake up fluent in any language, what would it be?
  • What is something that you’ve been doing lately that you really enjoy doing?
  • If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you like to be, and how long?
  • What helps you feel most at home and relaxed? 
  • What role does music play in your life?
  • Who is someone outside your family you admire?
  • If you could have a super power, which power would you choose?
  • Which room is your favorite in your house?
  • What is the food you like best?
  • If you had a million dollars handed to you, what would you do?
  • What did you do over the past week for someone that you enjoyed doing?
  • What is something nice that someone did for you this week?
  • What is your favorite color? 
  • What is something you have improved upon recently?
  • What is the hardest thing in your life right now?
  • What is a fun activity that you would like to do with others?
  • Which season of the year do you like the best? What do you like about it?
  • If you could be a different animal species, what would you be? What is special about it?
  • What is something that scares you? What helps you feel stronger and braver?
  • If you could be anywhere, where would you be and what draws you to this place?