Each parent has a different parenting style for their child. There are parents that use praises as a motivation, and others who believe that praises will only raise the ego of the child.
For some parents, giving a lot of praises to the child is believed to create a positive impact as it is hoped to build confidence in the child. However, be cautious, as excessively praising the child may not have a good impact, but instead lead to the opposite.
Praises are interpreted by the Little One as signs of acceptance and love, and they will eventually always try to obtain more praises. This is something that can happen if a child often receives praises for something that is considered regular and normal to be mastered by a child of their age. They will be more focused on success and celebration, instead of the satisfaction for something that they have achieved. According to Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University, praising the achievements of the Little One, instead of their efforts to achieve it, will decrease their self-esteem and motivation.
Parents who are very stingy in giving praises may also negatively impact the Little One. They will feel that they are not good enough or that no one cares for them.
So, when and how to appropriately praise a child? Many child education experts say that the quality of praises is more important than the quantity. The following methods can be implemented in praising the child:
The Little One knows if parents do not praise them sincerely. If this happens, they can lose their confidence and eventually have difficulty believing the positive statements said about them.
Give praises on the efforts of the Little One in doing something, and do not emphasize on the results achieved.
Giving specific praises will help the Little One to identify their talents or positive side. Instead of praises such as “You are a great piano player”, parents can say “You can play a difficult song properly, and put your soul into it well”.
If parents are accustomed to lure the Little One with a money prize, they will eventually learn to be motivated by money alone, not by success or the positive things behind their success. Other types of rewards from parents can be in the form of ice cream or dinner at their favourite restaurant.
In addition to verbal praises, also give a smile, a pat on the shoulder, or a warm hug to the Little One. These will have a more direct impact on them.
Avoid praises that contain sarcasm such as: “Well done. You finally managed to eat by yourself without dirtying the floor and your clothes”. Instead, praise the achievements of the Little One with an encouraging tone, such as: “Wow, well done. You can eat by yourself. Continue every day, Dear!”
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