How do we coach our children to be accountable, to live from internal values and become delightful young people who are fun to be around?
We certainly recognize if we are always pointing out a persons faults or tearing them down, their self-esteem will go down too.
But do we want our kids dependent upon the praise of others, or do we want them guided by a voice of personal responsibility residing in their hearts and their heads?
Far too many parenting and school discipline approaches rely on changing behavior by consistently providing praise and tangible goodies. Will it work, sure, in the short-term, but will it develop them to eventually live from their internal values, not necessarily.
While occasional praise is fine, do we set our kids up for difficulties when we overdo it?
Of course we can over-do it! Typically, this is not the parent who walks into my practice telling me they are over-positive towards their children, always pointing out their successes. When parents are not genuine, children know it and see through it.
A life guided by an internal set of principles…and a strong understanding of cause and effect…is far more likely to produce confidence and joy than a life dependent upon the fickle opinions of others.
Take the following quiz to see whether you are creating responsibly independent kids…or praiseaholics:
1. When my kids succeed on a task, I recognize their effort and their good feelings…rather than telling them how happy it makes me.
2. I demonstrate that I love them, even when I don’t necessarily love their behavior.
3. I allow my kids to see me resisting peer pressure…rather than always trying to project a perfect image.
4. I provide praise, only when they have done something truly praiseworthy, and I can be genuine.
5. My kids often overhear me talking about how I make my decisions based on my own beliefs...rather than seeing me make decisions based on what “everybody else is doing.”
6. I allow my kids to make mistakes and learn from their choices…rather than constantly telling them what to do.
7. I provide learning opportunities that help develop my children's internal sense of values.
The more “yes” answers you gave, the more likely your kids will learn to resist peer pressure and lead lives where their happiness is based on doing the right thing rather than trying to please everyone.
Need Help Parenting?
Attend a Love and Logic Parent Education Course because when kids are able to keep going when the going gets tough, they will see themselves as winners.