A parent who wants to be heard must be prepared to listen before confronting.
Encouragement is a skill to help children grow in self-esteem.
The question is how do we encourage???
It is actually easier than we think.
1. Just love and accept your child.
Your child will not always do as well and behave as you would like. At those times, your child really needs your love and acceptance. Children need this no matter how well they do something. You can accept your child without accepting misbehaviour.
2. Notice when your child tries or improves.
Improvement takes time. You child does not accomplish things all at once. Every skill they learn is made up of small steps and efforts. As parent you need to encourage your child to improve. To do this, as parent you need to notice his/her efforts. But how to do it ?
- You can point out small improvements along the way.
- You can comment positively on a higher mark achieved in another subject. Help your child to set small goals.
- You can help him understand what is important. Learning mathematics is more important than scoring top marks.
- Try to find at least one effort or improvement. Look for a chance to tell your child that you have noticed.
3. Appreciate your child.
- Your child needs to contribute – to be a helping part of the family. This gives your child a sense of belonging. When you say and show that you really appreciate your child, you encourage this belonging. You can say: “Thanks for remembering to …..”
- Notice what is important to your child. Ignoring a child’s interest is easy. If you take the time to ask about your child’s interest, your child will feel appreciated. “I can see you really enjoying participating in…..”
- Your child has strengths – qualities and talents that make the child special. You can notice and build on strengths.
4. Have faith in your child.
- Your child needs to know and see that you believe he/she can succeed. Expectations are powerful. Usually, your child can sense what you really think. Your child will not learn to believe in himself/herself if you don’t believe in him/her.
- When you believe in your child, you help him/her believe in him/herself. When you show respect, you help him/her respect him/herself and others.
- The best way to show your child that you love, respect and believe in him/her, is by encouragement.
5. Difference between Praise and Encouragement
- Praise is a reward that children earn. Your child learns to please and wants more and more praise.
- Encouragement is a gift. Your child feels accepted and loved and learns to appreciate his/her own special qualities; feel capable; feel worthwhile just the way he/she is.