Let Him Be Who He Wants to Be: Respecting Your Child’s Individuality

respecting child
By respecting your child’s individuality, you are actually helping your child to become happy.

It is the parents’ role to mold their children into the best they could possibly be. This, however, is the subject of much discussion and misinterpretation. Molding and shaping your child to be the best does not mean that you get to have your own way. Each person is born to this world with specific skills. As he grows, he also develops new skills and starts having his own preferences in just about anything in this world. Raising your child should be all about helping him harness his potentials and use his God-given tools so that he can become the person he wants to be. Respecting your child’s individuality is important in this process.

Do not impose your own wants on your children. Some parents would have their children pursue paths that they were not allowed to take during their youth. The children might not necessarily be as passionate about these interests as their parents are. To help you with your stab at respecting your child’s individuality, the following tips should point you to the right direction:

1. Acknowledge his skills and capabilities. Use your powers of observation to determine your child’s interests. Even at a young age, children often exhibit behaviour that indicate particular preference for specific activities. This will tell you what skills and capabilities your child has and what you can help him with in terms of developing these gifts.

2. Be generous with praises. Don’t skimp on telling your kids that you are proud of them. Find something praiseworthy even in the little things that they do. This will help him build the self-confidence he needs.

3. Be constructive with criticisms. Putting your kids down is never part of your job description as a parent. You do, however, want to let them know what their mistakes are. This should be done in a constructive rather than a critical manner. Let him understand too that you will be there to help him change for the better. Even if you have a grand plan for the adult that you want your child to turn into, you cannot discount the possibility that his skills, talents, and preferences could make him more successful in some other field of interest. By respecting your child’s individuality, you are actually helping your child to become happy with the success he is able to achieve in his chosen realm.

Image Credit:
David Castillo Dominici – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

Praising Kids And Its Limitations

praising your kidsParents have been and will always be proud of their kids no matter how small their achievement is. It is actually normal but shouldn’t be over do as too much praising can sometimes do more harm than good.

“Overpraising a child can get her hooked on success and celebration instead of being satisfied by her own accomplishment”, says Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer, author of Praising Boys Well and Praising Girls Well. Thus, it can result to some undesirable behaviors when they grow up and achieving something in the future is no longer because they want a fulfillment but because they just want to receive praises.

Some parents are even using monetary rewards every time their kids achieve something. If they’ll get used to it, they could no longer appreciate a “job well done” as they would always expect money from doing it. They could also resort to cheating for the sake of getting the reward.

Here are some of the situations wherein praises have been causing undesirable behaviors:

  •  Frequently praising the kid after eating vegetables wouldn’t convince them that they are delicious and healthy. If parents aren’t around to praise them, they won’t eat the vegetables no matter what happens.
  •  Too much praising whenever your kid shares could lead to hypocrisy. Teach them that sharing is a good deed and it’s okay if no one is going to praise them after doing it.
  •  Praising them whenever they learn to read a new word doesn’t develop the real desire to learn how to read which is gaining knowledge. Instead they just doing it to frequently hear the praises.

It isn’t actually bad to praise your kids whenever they achieve something great as positive feedback can also become an inspiration to strive more. Just make sure you’re not over doing it because most likely it would backfire. Praise them once in a while so that they won’t feel that are evaluated every now and them. The latter will just create pressure and the essence of learning and living life can no longer be felt.

Image Credit:
David – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net