Praise the Effort, Not the Child
Children are the Gift of God. Children are very innocent and whatever they do makes us feel happy. Most of the times we are so much overwhelmed that we shower them with praises , but here I would like the parents to know that praise is a two sided sharpened sword, if not used correctly can create disasters.
I always stress to Praise the effort and not the child. Praise is a positive term of expression, but the result of its over use is negative. Praising gives children confidence and makes them better every time, but here I am talking about proportionate praise. Why I am using the term proportionate is because praise is the food of mind and should be digested easily. The undigested praise leads to an unbalanced emotional status. Let’s see how.
If the child is praised regularly for every action, he becomes habituated to get praises, now the child will always rely on others for accreditations & when he is not praised he will start feeling low and will soon become a victim of inferiority complex, because his mind is programmed that things he does are only good, if they are praised by others. The child will wait for others comments for his work to get his work approved and gradually he will stop believing in himself. Waiting for others to praise makes us incompetent and in confident to decide.
We praise the children to make them confident but the reverse happens because the praise is not proportionate, I would like to give you an example, if a child makes a beautiful painting we say “Wow” you are great artist, or you are very talented, you are a born artist, etc. This is directly praising the child here we have not praised his effort (painting) at all. We have totally focused on praising the child. So, now the child learns to focus only on himself and not on his effort (painting). In fact we should rearrange our words & say what a beautiful choice of colours you have; the picture has come out very nice, you have good curves, etc. Now when you see both the praises the 1st one is directly praising the child which makes him feel flattered and over confident & in the 2nd one the praise is directed to the efforts so the focus of the child will also be on the efforts he made & without boosting himself he will put more efforts to get better and better every time.
Actually, we all need our children to be self evaluators & our action of praising the efforts will make them self evaluators, which will build their confidence. We should be specific in our praises. Our praise should always relate to the effort the child makes. By doing this the child will focus on the efforts he makes, his attention will be on the efforts and not on himself. If we praise a child it will flatter him. So always make a point to praise the effort.
Also, not all of the child’s actions need to be accredited. Praise can be expressed through beautiful gesture of love like a hug, a kiss, a smile. We don’t always need to use bundles of words of praise. Some gestures of feelings, expression and touch also can be a language of our praise and by this the child will learn to understand the language of emotions as well.
We want the children to make good efforts so praise the efforts.
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