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Successful Parenting: “Find Good And Praise It”

“Find good and praise it.” If we would adopt these six words in our parenting model it would make our experience as parents and that of our children much easier and much more pleasant. I am a parent of a teen daughter so I know as a parent it is not the easiest thing to raise a responsible, healthy, happy and productive child. It takes effort and sometimes dealing with conflict and meeting resistance as we make decisions and choices that our children don’t understand or agree with. If we take the approach to point out everything our child does right, all the excellent choices that they make, and how proud we are of them, what do you think this would do.

OPPONENTS OF PRAISE

There are some people who vehemently oppose praise. These are the same people who think that you should not pick up a crying baby for fear of spoiling them. I think this is absolutely ludicrous. When you pick up a crying baby you are addressing what ever need they may have, be it hunger, comfort, a diaper change or companionship. It is feared that by praising a child they will become too puffed up and full of themselves. They will supposedly become big headed and no one will be able to tell them anything. Some feel that others praise children for no good reason, for example Tommy is climbing on the monkey bars and the mother says “Nice climbing Tommy!” It is felt that that’s not necessary and actually harmful for the child.

HOW I SEE IT

It is my point of view that a parent wants the best for their child at all times and they try to do the best for them where they are. So in the parents’ mind they are building their child’s esteem and confidence.  They want to insure that their child feels good about themselves. They know that if the child has confidence and feels good about themselves they will be more likely to succeed in both school and life.

As an educator and consultant I also understand that the naysayers of praise are not coming from a mean and cold hearted place. They genuinely have the child’s best interest at heart. They know that if a child doesn’t hear anything else but praise that this is not correct also and is out of balance. they know that this type of behavior can create a since of entitlement.

USE TECHNIQUES THAT BOTH BUILD ESTEEM AND TEACH CHILDREN

Parents are children’s first teachers and remain their teachers and role model throughout the child’s life. It’s is our job to correct behavior, set boundaries and limits and  give guidance. It is also our job to decide that how we are going to address when our children don’t follow the rules. Since we are going to do this automatically we need not worry about our children only hearing praise.  We have an opportunity to remember that people need much more positive than negative in order to feel good. It only takes a few negatives to spoil the positive but a whole lot more positives to out weigh the negative. Listed below are some techniques that take a balanced approach in building the esteem of a child and helping them to be more confident.

1. Acknowledge your child’s accomplishment by not judging what they do as good or bad, nice or not nice, but by simply reporting what you see. Using the last example with Tommy climbing on the monkey bars you could say. ” I see you are climbing the monkey bars Tommy.” or “Look at what you can do Tommy!”

2.You can have them do things with a high level of success.

3. You can also have them do things that are a little challenging yet achievable.

4. You can give a “compliment sandwich” where you sandwich corrections or feedback within two  compliment.

5. You can catch them doing good or desired behavior and make a big to do about it.

Finding the good and praising it is uplifting and feels good for both the parent and the child. It makes both of you proud. You feel like all of your hard work was not done in vain. Your child feels good because they have made you happy. It keeps you both in a happy and positive frame of mind most of the time. You find yourself looking more for the positive than always looking at the negative or behaviors that you are in the process of changing in your child. You can be a lot more patient in trying to correct the behavior that you don’t want.It also builds resilience and patience in the child. Please share your experiences with us. I ‘d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment.


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