Praise Not Criticism

I really hate to see harassed mothers angry with their children, shouting and yelling at what appears to be little misdemeanours. I wish they could relax and enjoy their children more. Praise and approval are the easiest way to reward a child and change unwanted behaviours. Constant daily criticism will hurt a child and leave […]

Praise Not Criticism

I really hate to see harassed mothers angry with their children, shouting and yelling at what appears to be little misdemeanours. I wish they could relax and enjoy their children more. Praise and approval are the easiest way to reward a child and change unwanted behaviours. Constant daily criticism will hurt a child and leave lasting effect, also ridicule and sarcasm must be avoided. Important people in your life as a child create the strongest negative and positive effect, parents, grandparents, peers and teachers.

You probably have a few bad memories of childhood events that may even now affect how you perceive yourself. I remember my dad constantly telling me I couldn’t sing and laughing at my attempts to sing in tune. I’m sure it was true and he meant no harm but instead of helping me I stopped trying, I accepted I couldn’t sing and even now I never sing, whilst always wishing I had learnt how to sing in tune as a child.

He was a kind but very precise conservative man, even when I was a teenager I had a strict bedtime and despite my efforts to be ready for bed on time if I was literally 1 minute late, he would look at his watch and complain or comment. This became something I felt I could never please him with; I was disappointed I couldn’t achieve what I set out do and gave up trying. I remember feeling very sad as a young teenager, desperately wanting to please him but often failing in my attempts. I’m sure he was oblivious to the upset it caused me, but be aware what your reactions mean to your child, watch their eyes and body actions, so you can react with empathy when disciplining them. These illustrations are meant as reminders, I’m sure you have situations from your childhood too.

Always look for little things to praise rather than what is wrong. Be prepared to explain behaviours that are unacceptable to you, so that the child knows exactly what they have done that displeases you. Always be consistent and firm about important matters. Don’t ever laugh at bad behaviour, even if your little bundle is adorable and beaming a great smile and seeking attention, whilst he is being naughty. A firm “NO” and a “look” or frown speaks volumes; if practised from the beginning there is seldom a need to shout. Save that for when there is imminent danger. If you get into the habit of shouting at small misdemeanours, shouting escalates getting louder and louder. This causes both of you to get more and more stressed.

Staying calm and in control of the situation is a much better way and a good example for your child to emulate. Praise love and approval are what all human beings hunger for and children more than most. Don’t be afraid to show your love to your children, your partner and your parents. Help make the world a happier place!

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