The Magic of Encouragement

A few days ago, I enjoyed the daily post of Matthew Dicks. His title was, “How to transform your child into a writer.” While his example and suggestions were specific to writing, they could apply as easily to any creative endeavor. Actually, they could apply to any attempt to try something new, especially something that takes time to learn, that takes work to be good at.

Here’s what he says:

“As a teacher and a writer, I often give parents advice on helping their children to become effective writers who (more importantly) love to write.

My advice is simple:

Be the best audience possible for your child’s work. If he or she wants to read something to you, drop everything. Allow the chicken to burn in the frying pan. Allow the phone to ring off the hook. Give your child your full and complete attention. When a child reads something that they have written to someone who they love and respect, it is the most important thing happening in the world at that moment. Treat it as such.”

He continues with very specific advice, things to do and things not to do, but it seems to me that it all boils down to the idea of encouragement. Do what ever you can do to encourage children in this activity that interests them. Don’t evaluate, critique, or measure. Encourage and support. I love this idea. And I love it for more than kids.

Everyone needs encouragement to try new things. All of us need a chance to make mistakes, misspell words, and be sloppy, or color the sky purple. One of my favorite facts about the word encourage is that it starts with the word ‘cor’ or heart. Thus to encourage someone is to give them heart. It’s to give them attention and support. And that attention and support can mean everything in supporting a child to become a writer, an artist. And the same is true in helping a staff member learn a new skill, take on a new responsibility, or step into a leadership role. Encouragement can be the magic ingredient in any type of transformation.

Who has encouraged you on your journey? Who might you encourage as they take on new challenges? The magic of encouragement is that it turns us from someone who can’t do something into someone who can try, learn, and just maybe create wonders. Why don’t you give it a try. (See what I did there – encouragement!)

Take care,



Here’s a link to the blogpost:

Leave a Comment