Do you struggle with the constant balancing act of encouragement and correction? I sure do. I don't like harping on my kids every second of every day. But I could, they're kids! But at some point they need affirmation. My unofficial definition of affirmation is equal parts correction and encouragement.
I love to hear stories from one of my client's former players. Coach Warren Belin is one of the best Linebacker coaches in the country. He is tough and he is encouraging. He can be heard on the practice field in his booming voice telling his players about putting 100% effort into the simple technique drills or to pay attention to the intricate details of tackling. If you went to a practice, you might hear him say "to be champions you must practice like champions". He might tell his group "this isn't good enough" followed by "I know you can do better". One player Coach Belin coached in college still calls him after games and during the off-season. His former players share when they are tired and feel like they can't go on they hear Coach Belin's affirmation and it gives them the strength to dig down for that last bit of energy they have.
Isn't that the way we want our kids to do? To hear our voice when things are tough or they feel they can't succeed. I don't want my kids to just hear me yelling at them or just correcting them. I know this is an area I fail at as much as any other and it's an area I am committed to getting better at as any other.
Another area we need to make sure we are affirming is with our wives. It is easy to become so close with our spouse we forget they need our affirmation as much as anybody. It is also important to do this in front of the kids, to model this to them. Give it a try and sit back and watch your family shine.