Know If Your Praises Are Pressurizing Your Child!
So many times we see people trying to encourage their children. After all, encouragement is important, right? Children seek validation from their parents. Even when they are infants, after doing the slightest of things they turn to their parents.
And we as parents we clap at every step they take and every bite they eat. Have you done that? I, for sure, have! Encouragement is good for our developing child but are we doing too much of it? Sometimes when we overpraise our children they tend to convert the praise into expectation.
Can your child react negatively to your praise?
Our children’s minds are very tender. We have to learn to deal with them in a very gentle manner so as to not put undue pressure on them. There can be adverse effects of parental pressure on a child. We have to be careful about the body language we use and the words we choose to use with our children.
We often tell our children that we are proud of them. We are proud that they won a match, scored a goal, got good grades, etc. What we fail to tell them is that we are proud of their effort and not the result of their effort.
Your kids might begin to think that you will love and accept them only when they achieve something. This can have a negative impact on the child. They then stop believing in the importance of making an effort.
For children it’s either black or white, there is not in between. So, for children being loved or not depends on their success rate. Do you want your child to think like that? It’s impossible for a parent to measure and love their children. Then why let your child think like that?
Children are innocent, they can’t read between the lines. It is our duty to tell them exactly what we mean. Now, I am here to help you with that…
It’s good to praise your kids but how about we rephrase our praises? Ever thought that a simple change in your sentence can make a huge difference?
Also read: Authoritative Parenting Style: An Approach Towards Positive Reinforcement
Examples of Things you should rephrase
1. “What a good boy you are, you shared!”
Teaching your child the virtue of sharing is very important. When you say “What a good boy you are, you shared!” you are telling your child that he/she can be good only when they share. Your child may begin to feel pressured now. Because if they don’t share they will not be good in your eyes anymore.
We should teach our children that they should share whenever they can and not necessarily always. You can try saying, “look how happy you made her feel!” This way they can actually focus on virtue and not on being a good boy or girl.
2. “Ah! You’re an artist, what a beautiful painting!”
Said that to your children even when you weren’t even able to figure out what exactly was painted? See are children are not born artists, let’s not make them think like that. According to researchers children will leave doing something if they don’t get their desired praise time and again.
To avoid such a situation try saying, “You’re working so hard honey, can you tell me more about your painting?” By saying this you are appreciating their hard work and not how their painting looks. Hence, they will focus on working hard and not on the end result.
Also read: Parenting Counseling: The Secret Recipe For A Happy Parent-Child Relationship
3. “What a goal you scored! I am so proud”
We jump on our seats when our children score a point. It’s one of the best feelings in the world right? Seeing our children excel in some sport! But will you stop loving them if they don’t play well? No, right?
Convey your feedback in a manner that doesn’t pressurize your child to excel every time. You can try saying, “I look to see you on the field” By saying so you’re telling your child that being on the field is more important than winning.
4. “You’re a genius!”
Every child is special in one way or the other. Telling your child that they are genius will only build the pressure of getting good grades all the time. You don’t want your child to only get good grades. You are unknowingly telling them that failing is not an option.
What you can say instead, “Good Going Champ, you can figure it out” When your child is stuck, give them strength to move on. By telling them that they are a genius puts them in a tough spot.
5. “You’re big enough to help me in the kitchen now.”
You want your children to help you only because they are old enough? Or you want them to help you because it’s the right thing to do. It is good behavior. We all want our children to develop empathy. So, tell them that!
Try saying, “things get done quickly and easily when you help me.” Do not pressurize them to do something only because they are old enough. Teach them that your tinny effort can make someone’s life a lot easier.
Also read: Parenting Tips for Children With Anxiety: How To Help Children With Anxiety
Food for thought!
There are so many other examples that are there and we just ignore them. We are so engrossed in giving them positive feedback that we forget what message we are giving them. There are many ways to praise our children’s accomplishments without saying ‘good job’.
Try focusing on the virtue and not the act while giving your feedback. Even when you call your child ‘good or bad boy/girl’ will send the wrong message. Rephrase it by say ‘that’s a good/bad thing to do’
Getting my point? Well, I hope this article helps you in choosing the right praises for your child. Do tell me in the comment section if these changes have been of any help to you.
You can do it!
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Thanks for reading!
Take care and stay safe!