Every parent has a different way of parenting. Some use compliments as a motivation, while others consider compliments will only make the children to be big-headed.
For some parents, giving many compliments to their children is believed to have positive impact as it can make the children to be more confident. But be careful, instead of having good impact, compliment the children too much can also give the opposite impact.
Children consider compliment as a sign that they are accepted, loved, will make them trying to get more compliments. This can happen because they are too often complimented for doing something normal, even other children can do as well. They more focused merely on the success and celebration, instead of the satisfaction for achieving something. According to Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, complimenting the children’s achievement instead of their effort to the achievement, will lower their self-esteem and motivation.
Being too stingy in giving compliments also give a bad impact to the children, as they will feel that they are not good enough or no one cares about them.
So, when and how is the proper way to compliment the children? Many child education experts say that the quality of a compliment is more important than its quantity. Here are some ways that you can do in giving compliments to your children:
Sincerely Compliment Them
Children know when you give insincere compliments. If that happens, they can lose their confidence and find it hard to believe any positive words spoken to them.
Focus on Their Effort, not the Results
Compliment the children for their effort and eagerness in doing something, not emphasizing on the achievement.
Give Them a Specific Compliment
Giving a specific compliment will help the children recognizing their talent or finding out their positive side. Instead of complimenting them like this: “You are a great pianist”, you better say this: “You can play a difficult song properly, with good inspiration as well”.
Don’t Use Money
If Moms and Dads used to promise the children using money as the prize, they will get motivated simply for money, not because of the success or the positive things behind the success. It is a different case if Moms and Dads are giving ice cream or dinner at their favorite restaurant as the prize.
Use Body Language
In addition to verbal compliments, give also your children a smile, a tap on the shoulder, or a warm hug. This will have a more direct impact on them.
Avoid Sarcasm in Your Compliment
Avoid compliment that contains sarcasm like: “Great. You finally managed to eat by yourself without making the floor and your clothes dirty”. Instead, compliment their achievement with a motivating tone like: “Wow, great. You finally are able to eat by yourself. Keep up, dear!”
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