Here I am now with children of my own and I have broken all of those promises I once made to myself-even the one about what I was never going to say. Why do parents always use that phrase? One would think we could come up with something a bit more original. That threat is as old as the hills!

I have been thinking about turning this phrase around to give it a positive connotation. What if we began to use this threat when we see our children doing something good? Suppose we said, "If I catch you doing that one more time, I'll take you out for pizza." What kind of response would there be? Or, "Do that again, and I'll pay you a dollar." What would our children do? Would they try to do that good deed again? Probably. Why? Instead of threatening them when they are naughty, we are rewarding them for what they do right and are encouraging them to continue on that path.

Galatians 6:9 in the Bible says that we must not become weary in our efforts to do good because someday we will be rewarded for our work. We must not become tired of praising our children, of coaxing them and encouraging them. We must continue to be supportive, loving and kind. We must never give up on them, for the day is coming when we will know that it was worth it all.

What a pity it is that so many parents are still caught in the old trap of harping on the mistakes and failures of their children instead of building up their good deeds and accomplishment. It is time for us to turn the saying around. Our children need to be encouraged today to do things that will enhance tomorrow in positive ways.

We hear so many great ideas each day. The question is...what are we doing with them? Today, if your home has more of a negative environment than a positive one, seek to really make some changes in this area. It might be helpful for you as a family to discuss what would create a positive home environment and then hold each other accountable to really grow.