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Do you know how to truly encourage your children?

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Kids need our support on a daily basis. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do to motivate them.

Good parenting requires a lot of energy and motivation. Poor performance at school and bad behavior are among the many reasons we might get discouraged. But it’s also hard for children to stay motivated when they’re exhausted or demoralized. So they must be encouraged to they will never give their very best. Every parent must adopt a positive attitude. The problem is that this motivational approach doesn’t always come naturally.

Praise the effort made by a child 

Parents are usually more prompt to point out the mistakes their children make than to praise the effort. “We feel that to get good results, we need to keep up the pressure,” confesses Adeline, mother of four. Some kids are good at dealing with this kind of approach; others feel discouraged when faced with their parents’ permanent dissatisfaction. Why bother trying to do your best if your parents are never happy?

Encouragement should never be confused with empty praise or vanity (“Sweetie, you’ve got an A+, I feel so proud”), nor should it be contingent on results alone.  It’s the acknowledgement of the effort and progress made by a child, proud of having outdone himself. 

Red lines never to cross

Often parents deem that their children’s performance should be on a par with their own ambitions. Accepting children as they are is to help them to grow and learn how to rely on their own strength, to develop a sense of confidence and self-esteem.

This is by no means an incitement to become competitive. Bluster and cheekiness are signs of weakness. Lack of confidence often hides behind the mask of hostility and arrogance. Make no mistake when personal wishes and capacities of children are not taken into account, competition will lead to bitter disappointment. Encouragement reassures them, makes them grow and brings them closer to fulfilling themselves.

Anne Gavini

 

 

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