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Raising children seems like an easy job until you have to do it on a regular basis. Once you embrace parenthood, you realise that raising kids and raising them right is not easy. You want to pamper your kids, give them everything they ask for, but at the same time, you don’t want to spoil them. You want to praise them for their good deeds, but then again, you don’t want to overcompliment them or they might stop believing you.
Your children look up to you and your appreciation matters to them, if you compliment them constantly, it might do them more harm than good. Now, how do you praise your child without overdoing it? We have some tips that should help you use your words wisely, just enough to keep your child motivated and happy!
When Is Praising a Child Considered Good?
Praising children for their good actions is good and a must, but like for everything else, there’s a right time for it. You must praise your child for their good deeds, but not every single time. Here’s when praising your child will be good for them.
- Children feel encouraged when praised but only if the praise is realistic. This means that you must use your words wisely and not overdo it or your child won’t believe you.
- Praising is good if your child has earned it. If your child has done something good, even if it is something as simple as helping you out in the kitchen, you must ensure that you praise them because they deserve it.
- Praise is good when it is specific. This means that you must be as specific as possible when praising your child so that they understand what good they did to have deserved your appreciation.
- The most important thing to remember is that praise is best only when it is used sparingly. You must be sure to use it when your child deserves it, but not for every little thing they do. Otherwise, they might fail to understand the value of your words, and it won’t have an effect on them.
Why Should You Praise Your Child?
If you’re a parent, you know that your words of encouragement and a few good words of appreciation can instil confidence in your child. And that’s why you should be praising your child. Your child looks up to you, and when you praise them with a few good words, you make them believe that you trust them and you have confidence in them, and your child needs your confidence and support. Praising kids can also have an effect on their personality. It can boost their self-confidence and motivate them to keep up the good work. On days, when your child is feeling low or afraid to take a risk, your words of encouragement can be a ray of hope for them.
That said, you should not overdo with compliments. There should be a balance between effort-based and talent-based praise when you compliment them for their actions. The former focuses on a child’s natural abilities, while the latter helps them understand that actions are more important than talents. If you praise them for their talent often, it can make them feel uncomfortable towards opening up to new challenges. Therefore, you should try and praise them for their efforts as much as you can for their healthy growth and development.
How to Praise Kids Without Spoiling Them
There are many ways to praise kids without it having a bad effect on your children. Some of these methods are given below.
Encouragement is the best way to ensure that your child knows why they deserve your praise. You can encourage your child to develop a skill of your liking and make them focus on it in a constructive manner. Even when the results do not deserve to be praised, you can support them and encourage them to do better.
2. Pay Attention to the Little Things
You have to take care to notice the small things too when you encourage your child. It can be something trivial and unimportant, like the way they keep their toys arranged. Let them know that you are interested in every single thing they do. This way they will know that you care and it will contribute to their psychological development. Your child will grow up to be a confident individual.
Your child has lots of stories to share with you, listen to them. They will love you more when you pay attention and tell them the difference between the right and wrong. If your child comes to you and tells you something good they have done, listen to them, and not simply praise them for whatever they have done. And once you have heard the whole story, praise them and be specific. Tell them what you like and be empathetic towards them. If your child complains, listen to them and point them where they did wrong (in case they are wrong).
4. Offer Rewards
If your child achieves something, you must praise them, no matter how small the achievement might be. This means that you can praise and motivate them for trying to memorise a poem or for a game of soccer which your child could not win. Don’t forget to praise them for efforts. While you would want your child to win always, but if they don’t, tell them that you appreciate their efforts and reward them for their performance. That will encourage them to work even harder, and when they succeed eventually, you can reward them and praise them by telling them it’s their hard work that paid off.
You should also try to make your child remember the good they have done that deserved your praise. This will make them continue with the good work and also build self-confidence in them. You have to be genuinely interested in the actions of your child, and praise them for their accomplishments in order to cultivate diligence.
Praising your child does not always mean showering your child with compliments. You can say a few words of encouragement or appreciation to your child and ask them questions regarding their accomplishments. Start by asking how they did it so that they will get a better idea about their thought process and help them understand the reasons that helped them achieve something.
7. Maintain Eye Contact
While praising your child, maintain eye contact with them. This means that you have to not only say the right thing but also say it in the right manner. You should maintain eye contact with your child to show that you mean what you say, and use a gentle tone. Also, try to say it at their level, face-to-face if possible.
8. Construct Sentences Wisely
It is important to choose the right words when praising your child. Your child has to understand what you mean, for the praise to be successful. Therefore, it is important that you choose the words keeping in mind the developmental stage of your child while praising them. As they get older, you can go for words which reflect how experienced they are and say them accordingly.
9. Talk About Your Child’s Strengths
No two children have the exact same skills, so you might find your child doubting their capabilities when they see someone doing something that they cannot. In such instances, it is important that you remind them of their own strengths so that they don’t feel inferior. You can point out that there are things that they can do better than their peers so that they feel motivated.
10. Do Not Overdo It
This is perhaps the most important thing that you have to keep in mind when praising your child. You should never go overboard with praise, as it can have detrimental effects on your child’s personality. They won’t value your words (your praise) and they may not pay heed to whatever you have to say when they grow up. Also, you should try not to tell them that they are the best at something, as it only leads to disappointment and loss of credibility later.
Praise is a double-edged sword that parents have to handle with care-too little or too much, both can have a bad effect on the development of the child. Therefore, you have to aim to be balanced when you offer praise to your child and help them become a better person as they grow up.
Also Read: Ways to Improve Your Parenting Skills