Encouragement is the act of giving hope or support to someone. I try to do that everyday as often as possible. Sometimes it's not so easy. But other times, there are moments when I say or do the right thing at the right moment. You know what I'm talking about...that moment your child shifts from tears to laughter because of something you've said or done. I call that "a good parenting moment" or GPM.
Most times, right before a GPM, I realize I'm listening carefully and empathetically. It's an act of concentration. In the back of my mind, emails need to be read, phone calls returned, laundry cleaned, bills paid. But just by concentrating on the moment, things have a way of working themselves through.
Everyday, I think of a reason to tell my child why I'm proud of her. It might be something as simple as commending her for saying please or thank you, or admiring her penmanship, reading, jokes and vocabulary. There's always a reason to praise a child for good behavior. A little encouragement goes a long way.