Appreciate your child but in a right way
Change the way you praise your child
Every one likes to listen to praise and compliments about him and when you praise specially a child, he simply feels right on top of the world. Children find them on cloud nine when you praise them even for smallest of their efforts because that is one of the best ways to appreciate their efforts. They also expect you to praise them when they think they have done some thing that you might find worth appreciating them and when you do that, they prepare themselves to do better next time. That is power of appreciation, which can do unmatched wonders for your children. They simply like to listen to your compliments and a few words from you make their day.
However when your children compare themselves with their friends or other students of their class and find their work not comparatively as good as theirs then they begin to understand the difference and want to know the reality of your compliments. Parents should appreciate their children but their compliments should be balanced and nearer to reality to make them trust you. False compliments would not do any good but would only decrease your reliability or value of your compliments. You should learn the right way of praising your children to boost up their moral with their confidence level intact not that your words sound hollow to them. Here are some examples, which should give you an idea that what is the right way to make your compliments authentic-
Example 1- This is your best creative art project so far
Right way or closer to reality- You have done better than before and you have taken better care this time to improve your mistakes. This would certainly make him feel better despite the fact that he might not have done anywhere near the best in class but your statement would word of good in boosting his moral while you would tell him that he has done better than last time. He would certainly try to do better than what he is capable of doing right now. Even if he is topper of the class this is not proper to say that he is best of them all because that may fill him with a sense of overconfidence that may bring him down from his top position. Therefore, keep your compliments balanced and encouraging but not giving him false sense of confidence.
Example 2- I am proud of you because you have done nothing wrong in your spelling test.
Right way or closer to reality- You have done wonderfully well to memorize the right spellings, keep it up. Do not try to give importance to result but you should emphasize on his efforts. Appreciation of his efforts is the right way of improving his confidence; this would also make him well prepared to take up his future exams in far better way. In addition, that would enable him to face any challenges in any field without fear of failure in his future life. Small things like a role of his choice going to some one else, which would disappoint him badly would make no difference because he would know that a better one or more capable has been given the chance of doing that particular role.
Example3- You are best brother.
Right way of appreciation or closer to reality - You have done well to help your sister. Appreciating your child indirectly would make him believe you because as the child grows up he begins to learn realities and if he finds that, you have overdone his appreciation he may not find your words trust worthy in future. You should always try to avoid making statements those may give him false feelings of overconfidence. However this does not mean that you should not appreciate your child but in a way that encourages him like while talking to your friends and he is around you can mention him with encouraging words. That would certainly give him immense pleasure and he would do his best to better in future to keep your confidence intact. Children trust what hey listen indirectly rather than what they hear directly.
Example 4- You have done the best job by selling all your items at your school stall.
Right way of appreciation or closer to reality - I liked the way you impressed people to buy your items at your school stall. You should appreciate your child but in a way, that he finds you trustworthy as well motivating and not as if you are doing it for the sake of formality. However, your appreciation would go a long way to motivate him and do far better in future.
Example 5- This is wonderful news that you have received this ribbon in your school science competition.
Right way of appreciation or closer to reality- You have done well, now tell me about your efforts you did to get this ribbon for your school’s science competition. This is better to appreciate your child but no reaction instantly, it is better to let him evaluate his efforts for himself, this will improve his self-confidence. If you do not allow him time to think and evaluate his work himself by making comments immediately you are sort of depriving him of process of going through his efforts by himself. If you encourage him to reconstruct the way he did his job that would make him feel proud. So do not take this opportunity from him but let him enjoy him his success. This photo from wikipedia-
Example 6- I am proud of your school report
Right way of appreciation or closer to reality- You should be proud of your school report. The difference is not that big but meaning is because that gives him a chance to feel proudly because your child learns to feel the meaning of self-confidence and sense of proud in a particular age. There is no doubt that your words of praise do your child a word of good but up to a certain age, later they understand the difference in between encouragement, appreciation and achievements.
Your words mean a lot to him therefore you must change the way of appreciation for our child after certain age and be a practical to help him gain self-confidence and newer heights for his future life. He should feel it by heart that you are trying to encourage him rather than finding your words mere show business. You must consider that your child is now big enough to differentiate between a true praise and hollow words. He is no more a tiny toddler whom you could cheer up the way you liked. I remember some one saying ‘Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well’ so- keep showing your own excellence to your children but in a balanced way.
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