Girl Holding MedalI read this article, On Building Kids Self-Esteem and spent the whole time nodding and the reason I did so was that I agree with most of what was written. It is true that we need to recognise effort. One of the most important things we want our children to have is a healthy self-esteem – some of that will be developed by what happens at home and what we say and do. The article pinpoints that what we may be doing could be incorrect and in fact we could be giving the wrong message to our children. It seems that we may be praising children in the wrong way.

Praising Children The Right Way

For example, how many of us praise our children but do not use descriptive praise? How many of our children who play a group activity are not recognised for putting the effort in and yet the children who get prizes are the ones where success comes easily? How many of us recognise intelligence but not effort?

My youngest son does not often get badges for one of his sports but when he does it is for recognition of effort. My eldest who get high grades in a subject at school did not get a prize at the end of the school year. Why? Because it comes more naturally to him and there were other children worthy by putting the effort in and making great progress.

The main point I like in the article is the reference to the word ‘amazing’. I do agree the word is far too overused. Young people say everything is amazing. Parents need to use different words that are more descriptive and tell the child what makes it so good.

Take a look at the article and after reading, do you think you would change your words or your actions? Leave your comments below.