Have you seen the viral video of the beatbox battle between a father and daughter? You can check it out here.
Watch the video a few times and find yourself impressed by both of their skills. Then watch it again and focus on the dad’s reaction to his daughter’s art. The entire time Nicole (the daughter) is dropping beats, her dad is moving his head along, smiling, giggling to himself, and beaming with pride. As good as their beatbox skills are, I’m most impacted by seeing the sheer joy on dad’s face as he enjoys his daughter’s work.
Something incredibly powerful happens when a child receives the approval of a parent. Kids are hard-wired by God to need parental instruction and correction … and encouragement. The good and terrifying news is that as parents, we are our child’s first lesson on the character and nature of God. When we parent out of our unresolved brokenness, we withhold affirmation for others because we need it for our own self-actualization. When we parent out of our Jesus-redeemed brokenness, we give affirmation and encouragement with the same lavish excess that God gives it to us.
What does this look like? It means we say things to our kids like:
- I love watching you play soccer. (Instead of, “Congratulations on the big win.”)
- I’m so proud of the way you treat your little sister.
- I love listening to you play music. (Instead of, “Keep practicing and you’ll be really good.”)
- I love to hear you laugh.
- I’m always excited when I see you do the things you love. (Instead of, “I love when you do your best.”)
So many of the words our kids hear are negative. Be a positive voice in the lives of your kids, finding joy in the things that bring them joy, celebrating the times they take a risk and strive for excellence, and cheering for them even when they don’t finish in first place.
Summer is one of the toughest and most rewarding times of the year for the youth workers–we’re guessing you’re exhausted and pumped right about now. Just in case you were wondering, Jesus loves watching you love on your students. In the same way that dad watched his daughter kill it with her beatbox, your Father delights in watching you shine. So don’t grow weary of doing good; you make God smile with a proud toothy grin.
What do you think?
– Tim and Tasha