I am an observer. I am one of these people who sit back and just watch. I usually don't join in a group and get carried away with a conversation. I watch how people talk, react, and be their true selves. I'm one of these that others look at and wonder what is she thinking. I don't do this to be judgmental, to be a snob or to think I'm better than others. It is something I do to learn about other people. If you want to see the true colors in people, sit back and watch them; you'll be amazed at what you learn.
Be an Encouragement Not a Discouragement
I'm pretty good at keeping a poker face when I want during the times I'm observing. But there are times, when others will know that I am happy or upset or I disapprove of something. For the past month, I have been playing a scene over in my mind that I was subjected to at the May junior rodeo. The scene was of a father who apparently was not happy with his son's chute dogging. Right in front of me and any one walking by, the father began talking down to his son in a very high pitched voice. A noise that would have called the neighborhood dogs in. Think of fingernails across a blackboard; it was that bad. All I kept hearing was "What did you think you were doing?" and "I could have taken that steer down", and "You didn't have your head in the game." Let's just say, I removed my poker face and put on my face of disapproval. It did not take long for that father to shut his mouth and help his son gather up his gear and leave.
This man was talking to his ten year old son. Yes, the father could have taken down the 300 pound steer. But, I give the kid credit for climbing into a chute with a 300 pound steer and wrapping his arms around it's neck and walking him out to the line and trying to throw him off his feet without losing his grip. Not many ten year old boys will do this. Not many grown adult men will do this. When I think about the scene, all I remember was the little boy standing with his head down ~ ashamed. I wonder if he was ashamed of his competition or if he was ashamed of how his father was talking to him; I may never know.
I do know this, as parents if we want to ruin our relationship with our children, be a discouraging parent to them - let all the world hear you behave like a spoiled brat! Let your child hear rude, negative comments about something that they have done. Compare them with others. Don't talk to them like they are a human. Teach them they must never lose at something. Teach them they are better than everyone else.
The above photo was taken last summer; it is one of my favorites that my husband took. A father kindly explaining the ins and outs of roping.
If you want to have a relationship with your children, where they can come talk to you about anything... I mean ANYTHING - let your child talk before butting in and cutting them off with an astounding NO. Listen to their reasoning. Be constructive in your criticism. Take the time to personally show your children how to do something. Yes, they make simple mistakes that keep them from moving forward; who doesn't, we are human. When all does not go as planned, put your arms around them and tell them you love them and everything is going to be okay.
~ Let others know you are an encouraging parent by your actions.
I want my son to look back on his youth and say, "My parents were encouragers."