Never Underestimate The Power Of Words And Encouragement
Anyone, whether a child or an adult, needs validation and encouragement to perform well in their tasks. While an excess of seeking validation from others can hamper emotional maturity, getting recognition from others motivates people and builds their self-esteem. For children, it is more important for them to receive this kind of encouragement, as they find their interests and develop their personalities.
This is why it’s imperative for parents to be present as their children grow. At the same time, involving them in activities can help them learn new skills and build their confidence. Then, encouragement from their piano teacher, for example, can also help them move forward in their interests.
A Lack of Motivation
Lack of emotional and verbal support might manifest as a lack of motivation for children. It could be in the form of boredom, laziness, or rebellion. However, it’s best to take note that children are still trying to figure out how to process and verbalize what they feel. Instead of invalidating their feelings, a better way to deal with a lack of motivation is to look at underlying causes:
- Low self-esteem causes the child to withdraw from activities that are very much within their capabilities because they doubt if they can do it or not.
- Giving the child too much pressure to do well can cause them to be overwhelmed.
- Unchallenging tasks might end up being boring children, so matching the difficulty with their skills can help them improve and stay on task.
- Lack of support from family takes away the little nudge of encouragement they need.
The Role of Parents
The role of parents is crucial in creating life-long effects on people’s mental health. A study from Duke University Medical School found that people with affectionate mothers grow up to be less distressed, able to cope well, and are happier. Another study from UCLA proved that parental affection can protect the child from the biological implications of childhood stress and abuse. When children are given more love and affection, , anxiety, and can do better in social situations.
Give Children Praise
Of course, they’re the best people on the planet. You know that, but have you told them?
By praising your child, you are telling them that what’s good in what they did while also helping them recognize the good in what they did. This means that you’re not just congratulating them, but you are also teaching them how to pat themselves on the back.
According to Parenting for Brain, praising a child should recognize the process and the effort more than the outcome. It should also be descriptive so that the child knows that you paid attention. One example that the article cites is to recognize the elements of a painting (colors, drawings, etc.) instead of plainly saying that it’s a good painting. A child’s future depends on their childhood. While you have the utmost power to do so, feed them with the encouragement that they need to face life’s adversities, whether it is learning a new piano piece or solving a math problem.
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