child development, Child's Education, Relationships

Positive Praise for your Child’s Pride

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Praising a child correctly is important to the development of positive behaviors. It’s a great way to encourage constructive future behavior.

When you give praise you are giving your child a feeling of positive feedback, which increases their sense of confidence, self esteem and abilities. 

When you praise your child, you are pointing out the way they’ve acted, an action they’ve taken, or simply who they are. When your child looks good, tell him so. When your child does anything that pleases you, let him know. You should also praise a child’s effort to do well, even if it doesn’t come out so good in the end. You should find something each day about your child to praise.

Be on the lookout constantly for behaviors or actions deserving of praise, but don’t be over the top about it.  Be sincere and honest in your praise.

Wait for unexpected or previously unnoticed good behavior and praise your child for it.  And when you see such action or behaviors, praise immediately so the child will know exactly what behavior or action was deemed praiseworthy.

It’s also very important to look your child square in the eye when you praise him, and reinforce the positive behavior, action or trait being praised with a gesture such as a warm smile, a hug, scruff of the hair, or caress his face while you tell him.

Be exact, and state precisely what action, behavior or trait you find praiseworthy.  And most importantly, never directly follow praise with criticism or negative comments.  Let your child know what they did right and reward them for it before you let them know what they did wrong and punish for misbehaving or a misdeed.

So be sure to admire and congratulate your child and celebrate the good person they are growing into by praising their positive actions, behaviors and traits daily.  You’ll be building a strong sense of self in your child and you’ll grow closer as a result.

 

family conflict, Relationships

Harsh Discipline: Does it do More Harm than Good?

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Recent studies suggest that low-income parents tend to endorse much harsher discipline, partially because they hold stronger beliefs about the value of spanking and experience higher levels of stress.

However, parents who work in high-stress jobs or are stay-at-home parents who are feeling frustrated or isolated are also at risk.  It’s imperative that parents recognize their tendency to punish a child too severely and take the needed steps to make sure the punishment is appropriate for their child’s age, temperament and maturity level.

The study’s finding showed that parents from lower income levels or work high pressure jobs are more stressed, and they react more emotionally to their child’s behavior, and thus use harsher discipline. A parent in this situation may benefit from outside assistance and learning about alternative disciplinary strategies that are more appropriate and less harsh.

It’s also important for a parent to realize that children thrive on praise.  Parents in such a situation may always jump to discipline but fail to praise their child for their good deeds, behaviors and traits.  Children instinctively want to please their parents and make them proud.

By encouraging positive behavior, the parent will most likely discourage the behavior that has driven them in the past to punish too harshly. 

In order to encourage positive behavior deserving of praise, parents might want to consider giving their child a task they know they’re able to accomplish, and praise their efforts along the way.  Parents need to also consistently praise their children for the positive traits they possess.  Their child might be good at math in school, helpful to their little brother or sister, or is good at drawing pictures.  Praise these good traits and the child is likely to respond by acting appropriately and behaving positively in order to gain more praise.

In the end, it’s important to remember that a child is just that – a child.  A parent should make a concerted effort to make sure the discipline is appropriate and take care of themselves physically, mentally and emotionally so they can optimally provide for their child’s physical and emotional well-being.

Relationships

Celebrate your Child’s Uniqueness

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Just like a snowflake or a fingerprint, every child is unique in their own special way. Every child has a unique way of feeling, thinking, and interacting with others. Some children are shy, while others are outgoing; some are active, while others are calm; some are fretful, while others are easy-going. As a loving and nurturing parent, it’s your job to encourage them to embrace their uniqueness and celebrate their individual qualities.

Allow your child to express themselves through their interests.  They may find a creative outlet in theatre, dancing or art, or they may be exceptionally talented in the sciences.  Encourage them to embrace what they like to do, what interests them, and what makes them happy.  Help them realize that they don’t need to worry about being ‘like everyone else.’

Teach your child to make positive choices, and praise them for good deeds, behaviors and positive traits they possess.  Encourage them to become actively involved in their community, and introduce them to activities that promote a sense of cooperation and accomplishment.  Be firm yet fair when handing down discipline for misdeeds or misbehaviors, and make certain the rules and consequences for breaking the rules are clearly defined.  Show a cooperative, loving and united front with your spouse when it comes to discipline.

Accept and celebrate your child’s uniqueness. Remember that your child is an individual. Allow your child to have his or her own personal preferences and feelings, which may be different from your own.

And finally, encourage your child to be true to themselves by doing the same.  Show your child how to make positive choices with the choices you make, and that nobody is perfect and you too make mistakes.  Show your child that mistakes can be a great learning experience, and that they should not be ashamed or embarrassed about making them.

 

Relationships

Building Your Child’s Self Esteem

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It’s often been said that children learn what they live.  So if you’re looking for a place to start helping your child build positive self esteem and self value, then you should show them your positive sense of self and strong self esteem.  Be positive when you speak about yourself and highlight your strengths. This will teach your child that it’s okay to be proud of their talents, skills and abilities.

Your child also benefits greatly from honest and positive praise.  Find something about them to praise each day.  You could even give your child a task you know they can complete and then praise them for a job well done after they’re finished. Show your child that positive acts merit positive praise.

When your child’s feeling sad, angry or depressed, communicate openly, honestly and patiently with them. Listen to them without judging or criticizing.  They may not fully understand why they feel the way they do, so the opportunity to communicate with you about it may be what’s needed to help them sort through a difficult situation.  Suggest positive behaviors and options as solutions, and make sure to leave that door of communication open so they know the next time they feel bad, they can come to you for help and know that you won’t judge or punish them for how they’re feeling.

Teach your child the importance of setting goals and developing a plan to meet that goal and complete that task.  Small projects are the best to start off with in the beginning.  Ensure that it’s an appropriate task for your child, and not too complex.  Don’t only give praise at the end of the project, but praise their accomplishments during the project as well.

Most importantly, tell your child “I love you” each and every day – many times throughout the day, in fact. 

When they’ve behaved badly, remind yourself that it’s not them you don’t like, only their behavior.  Tuck short, sweet notes in their lunchboxes or coat pockets, or even send them a card in the mail.  Soon, they’ll learn to say “I love you” just as easily and honestly in return.