Parenting teaches us a lot of new things. During the early parenting, Tanya and Tanmay also learnt quiet a few things by observing their children. It is very important to ensure that adults support in building up self-esteem of young children. One of the ways to boost their self-esteem is to appreciate young children. Tanya and Tanmay took efforts to understand what kind of appreciation works best for their children. Here are some ways in which they appreciated, praised and encouraged Sophie and Ryan during different incidents:
Appreciating their unicity:
Dr. Maria Montessori said, “Every child is a unique child.”
Both Tanya and Tanmay always acknowledged that both Sophie and Ryan were unique in their own ways. They always tried to appreciate their children in a meaningful way instead of a general comment. For example, Ryan loves to create artwork so they would say, “Ryan I loved the way you combined the yellow and the orange colour to show a beautiful sunset” Rather than just mentioning, “Your sunset painting looks incredible” Sophie on other hand is a bit of an introvert but her parents always makes sure to embrace this weakness. They would appreciate it by saying, “You think well before you speak and that makes you look sensible”
Tanya and Tanmay observed that whenever they appreciated the uniqueness, it made children feel confident and proud of themselves for whatever they are.
Acknowledging their efforts:
Whatever young children do, they end up putting their mind and heart in it. In return, they would like to be noticed and appreciated. Tanya and Tanmay used to appreciate their children at the end of their tasks like any other parent would do. This does work in many cases and lifts children’s self-esteem. But it still remains a bit superficial in its own way. Slowly, they started moving their appreciation while the tasks were still on.
For example, if Sophie would be laying the table for dinner they would say, “I can see how fast yet carefully you are setting up the plates and napkins for the dinner. Keep up the speed” Another way Tanya and Tanmay tries to acknowledge their efforts is when they participate in any kind of competition. They would try to focus on the learning rather than winning. Once Ryan did participate in a fancy dress competition and won a second prize. To this they said, “You made such brilliant efforts to by heart those lines for your competition and you narrated them so well in front of the big audience. Congratulations on your efforts”
This kind of appreciation made them realised that whatever they were trying to achieve was correct and they were heading on a right path. It helped Sophie and Ryan to carve their paths with complete trust and assurance.
Do not over praise:
Overpraising can be dangerous. When you keep praising young children superficially, the pleasure of appreciating may simply fade out with time. Because appreciation was working well in their favour, Tanya and Tanmay started over praising their children. They realised that this was incorrect when they were in the middle of a parenting workshop at school. They learnt that planking down labels on everything children do will hurt their expectations in long run. Hence they decided to slow down and remember to be genuine in their appreciation towards their young children
A few last pointers that Tanya and Tanmay would like to share with you regarding appreciation for young children:
- Be specific in your appreciation so children know what is it about
- Be sincere in your appreciation so children know that you are not being superficial
- Be descriptive in your appreciation because it is going to help clear their ideas
- Be focused on their progress while appreciating so it boosts their confidence
- Help them express their feelings, so they can also self-appreciate