Praising Kids

Boost a Kid's Self-Image

It is so easy to find fault with kids, isn't it? I'm writing this post for myself, as well as for other parents, teachers, and grandparents - anyone who is working with kids. How many times a day do we correct versus praise? Do you remember what it's like to be a kid? I'd like to share a little of a post about this from the blog of Character First. I'll give you the link to the whole article too.

As a kid, I remember my mother being very critical about the way things were done. I did learn, but it was hard on her, and me sometimes. My dad was always encouraging and worked with me in creative and inventive ways. But enough of me. It's important to note that everything we say, including HOW we say it, is important and will impact the hearer. That could be a kid, a spouse, a friend, or anyone.

What will a little girl think about herself if she hears her dad say, "she's ugly" about an actress on TV? Yes, that's right. He wasn't even talking to her. But she will think to herself, "what does that make me?"

What will a little boy think if he's trying to help in the kitchen and mom says, "just let me do it." He will think, "I guess I'm not good at this." Chances are he won't offer to help anymore. And, maybe he won't help - even after he's married!!

"If we want to help our children develop and grow their creative selves, we need to provide them with a sense of security so that they have the courage to try something new. They need our reassurance that even if they fail that we love and support them. When we focus on reinforcing their positive attempts to become more creative, we actually encourage them to step out a little further the next time; and see things and do things in new and interesting ways." Dr. Virginia Smith, EdD

Use specific words when you praise. Just saying "good job" isn't enough. Say why you like it, and how you know how much time and effort they must have spent to accomplish their goal. This leads to growth in their self-confidence and gives them courage to try more new things down the road.

"As parents, teachers, and care-givers it is our privilege to encourage our children’s growth and development, not only in competence and doing things well, but especially in character. It is the character component that will help them reach their full potential and live happy and fulfilling lives." Dr. Virginia Smith, EdD

Character First is well worth checking out. They have an excellent curriculum for the development of character. I wish I would have had this resource years ago. Click this link to read the whole article.