Truth Talkin’ Thursday: Episode 44

 

Truth Talkin’ Thursday:

Jane and I discussed the difference between praise and encouragement when speaking to our kids. Parents often get them mixed up and they are not the same. With the best of intentions, parents can actually do some harm by using praise as a way of trying to get our kids to do their best.

What I didn’t have a chance to offer to the discussion were these four points: These are what are not helpful to our kids–the ‘don’t do’s. These are often done with the right intentions but not so good outcomes.

  1. Don’t compare your child to some other kids who do things better or with more success. They don’t want to hear how ‘Billy stands when hitting the ball.’
  2. Don’t over protect. For instance, if he/she is trying to learn how to ride a bike make sure they have the right equipment and let them go. Running along beside them to catch them when they fall says that you don’t believe in their ability to learn how to do it. Pick them up, dust them off, give them a hug tell them that you love them and encourage them to keep going.
  3. Understand that praising is more about social control than it is about helping them to be all they can be because of their effort and desire to get better. It can’t be because they will feel you will have more love for them if they succeed. Don’t make it about you.
  4. Remember it is your child’s effort and his/her ability to solve their problems and excel because of what they learned by their own experiences and NOT how their successes make YOU feel.

Praise is about rewards. Usually based on competition. He/she is looking for your acceptance. Your acceptance is the reward.  

Encouragement is about recognizing effort and improvement. It’s about the child feeling worthy.

What I didn’t have a chance to offer to the discussion were these four points: These are what are not helpful to our kids–the ‘don’t do’s. These are often done with the right intentions but not so good outcomes.

  1. Don’t compare your child to some other kids who do things better or with more success. They don’t want to hear how ‘Billy stands when hitting the ball.’
  2. Don’t over protect. For instance, if he/she is trying to learn how to ride a bike make sure they have the right equipment and let them go. Running along beside them to catch them when they fall says that you don’t believe in their ability to learn how to do it. Pick them up, dust them off, give them a hug tell them that you love them and encourage them to keep going.
  3. Understand that praising is more about social control than it is about helping them to be all they can be because of their effort and desire to get better. It can’t be because they will feel you will have more love for them if they succeed. Don’t make it about you.
  4. Remember it is your child’s effort and his/her ability to solve their problems and excel because of what they learned by their own experiences and NOT how their successes make YOU feel.

Praise is about rewards. Usually based on competition. He/she is looking for your acceptance. Your acceptance is the reward.  

Encouragement is about recognizing effort and improvement. It’s about the child feeling worthy.

All the best, and thanks for dropping by, Jim

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