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Praising Children

This is one difficult paradox in philosophy. Parents are told to help, but as we know, each coin has two sides, assisting children by being humble and modest about their accomplishments is an important practice. It can be a delicate balance in figuring out the way to let our children know that we are proud of them. Boundless expressions of praise can leave them insufferably arrogant while an insufficient amount of praise expressions can make them feel bad. At schools in India, kids are taught to give the most respect to the parents and therefore they look to there parents as their role models.

Maintaining a balance between apt praise and expression of pride can be crafty for the parents in the accomplishments of their children. Following tips can help the parents find the right approach to praise their child’s efforts and accomplishments:


Praise your child for the things that matter

Our children get to do many things at times, but some things are important and worth praise. Make sure that you praise significant accomplishments of your child and not the undeserved ones.


A high level of praise is apt for the child who did hard work and daily practice, which led to significant improvement. However, if the child didn’t perform well because he/she didn’t practice much and showed less interest, parents need not be effusive in their praise.


Talk about the hurdles 

In the process of accomplishing something in life, children have to deal with the hurdles in the path for which they need to sacrifice things like time with friends, etc. which will ultimately help in improving their skills. 

They might have learned about the areas of improvement from their failures. Thus, it is important to not only praise them in their accomplishments but also telling them about the obstacles they had to overcome. This will then realize how much attention we pay to their efforts and how long we have watched them along the way.


Praise the process

Parents should praise the whole process of accomplishment. For example, Elena is in the boarding school badminton team and just won the match. Her parents might praise her accomplishment of winning the tournament match by saying “We are so proud of you“, but this might miss the mark as she might feel it was only the win that matters. But a comment like, “it is good that all of your efforts and practices to improve paid off well “, Elena will feel gratified not only for her win but also for all her efforts she put. She will feel lucky, as well as truly satisfied with her accomplishment. 


Express appreciation and confidence

Expressing confidence in a child’s abilities by saying, “if you did this well, you could do many things well”, and by appreciating them for their efforts are much better expressions for them to hear and grow.

Express appreciation and confidence in child

It will be more helpful if we let our children know that we are pleased with their success, and they should also be gratified than just bragging about their accomplishments to others. 


Don’t go overboard

Children have an innate sense of proportion when it comes to their lives, so it is important to keep your expressions of pride in context. Not every accomplishment calls for a big celebration like Scoring well in a game, which is worth some focus and attention. It would be apt to have a small pizza party or a family get together with a healthy discussion on how to achieve personal goals.


Choose the right time

It is best to offer appreciation close to accomplishment. It would be good to give some cheers during the game if your child scores good, but it would also be good to have a family pizza party that particular day rather than after a week. All this recognition becomes more meaningful to the child if done close to the event.

Don’t bury positive expressions in negative lists

We should not bury our praise amid negatives to not risk making our children conceited. Parents should genuinely praise their child’s accomplishment leaving out the negatives. Comments like, “Though you aren’t keeping your room clean, and you still need to work hard to get good grades, we are proud of your first goal.” should be avoided as they bury the positive expression.

Focus on your child while praising

 Focusing expressions of pride for a child onto others can be easy for parents, for example, “If all the children were like Elena, you could all achieve so much”. This approach focuses on those who are not doing so well and do not focus on building confidence. Therefore, offering appropriate praise to the child without comparisons is important for parents. This will motivate the child and will give a push in the right direction.

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