If you’re a new parent, you should know the importance of encouraging your children. Not only does it set them up for success later in life, but it also strengthens your bond with them. So in this article, we’ll discuss what encouragement is, its benefits in children, and how you can use it effectively.
This is a collaborative post
What is encouragement (and how is it different from praise)?
Before we move onto the benefits of encouragement, it’s important to understand what it really is. Many parents confuse encouragement and praise, but they are not the same.
While praise is more focused towards an adult’s opinion, encouragement is aimed towards your child’s effort. For example, if your child brings home an A on their report card, you might say, “I love that you’re so intelligent”. This is praise, and it puts the focus on your opinion of your child (“I love”).
On the other hand, you might say, “Good job on working hard and getting an A”. This is encouragement, and it’s focused on your child’s effort.
The problem with praise is that it can be interpreted as conditional. Your children might think that they have to live up to your expectations to earn your love. This can lead to them becoming perfectionists, and they might avoid taking risks for fear of failure.
Encouragement, on the other hand, is unconditional. It sends the message that you love your child no matter what. This builds their self-esteem and gives them the confidence to take risks.
Now that we’ve clarified the difference between encouragement and praise, let’s move on to the benefits of encouragement in children.
What are the benefits of encouragement in children?
- It reduces negative behavior
When you call out positive behavior, you also reduce negative behavior. This is because children are more likely to repeat behaviors that are reinforced.
So if you want your children to stop throwing tantrums, start encouraging them when they’re behaving well. Similarly, if you want your children to do their homework, give them praise when they’re working hard.
- It boosts self-esteem
Encouragement makes children feel good about themselves. It tells them that they are valued and appreciated. This boost in self-esteem is essential for children, as it helps them develop a positive self-image. A positive self-image is key to confidence, happiness, and success in life.
- It motivates children
Encouragement in children is also motivating. When children feel appreciated, they are more likely to put in the effort. This is because they know that their efforts will be recognized. As a result, they are more likely to stick with tasks and persevere when things get tough.
- It strengthens the parent-child bond
Encouragement strengthens the bond between parent and child. When you encourage your children, they feel loved and supported. This makes them more likely to confide in you and open up about their problems. This lets you develop a deeper relationship with your children.
- It improves academic performance
Encouragement in children also leads to better academic performance. This is because it motivates children to study hard and do their best.
In one study, children who were encouraged by their parents had higher grades than those who were not.
In fact, parental involvement has been proved to be a very strong predictor of academic success by many studies.
- It reduces stress
Last but not the least, encouragement can also reduce stress in children. This is because it provides them with a sense of security. When children feel loved and supported, they are less likely to feel anxious or insecure.
As a result, they are better able to cope with stress. This is especially true if your child has anxiety or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
How to effectively use encouragement with your children?
There are certain things you should keep in mind when using encouragement with your children. For starters, it’s important to be specific. This means that you should focus on a particular behavior or effort. For example, instead of saying “good job”, say “good job on cleaning up your room”. This will let your child know that you noticed their effort.
It’s also important to use encouragement frequently. This will reinforce the desired behavior and make it more likely to continue. However, be sure not to overdo it. Too much encouragement can have the opposite effect and actually reduce motivation.
Finally, encouragement should be genuine. This means that you should only praise behaviors that you actually want to see more of. If you find yourself constantly praising your child, take a step back and reassess the situation. It’s important to be sincere when using encouragement, as children can quickly sense when you’re not being genuine.
And that’s a wrap!
Remember, encouragement is a powerful tool that can have many benefits for children. If you want to encourage your children to do their best, be specific, frequent, and genuine in your praise!
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