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Classic Parenting: Encouragement, Praise, Acceptance, and Responsibility
Encouragement comes when you focus on your child's assets and strengths in order to build his/her self-confidence. It comes from seeing the positive. Even failures can be outstanding learning experiences. Encouragement sounds like this, "I like the way that you did that," or "I know that you can do it," or, "It looks like you worked very hard at that."
Encouragement is NOT giving compliments for work poorly done, but under those circumstances it IS inspiring your child to work harder and do better. "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." -St. Paul (Eph. 4:29)
Ultimately self-confidence comes from having accomplished things worth being proud of. Reserve praise for things well done. Where encouragement is given for effort, praise is given for accomplishment. Just say, "That's a good start, keep at it," when the work is not yet worthy of praise.
Accept your child for who he or she is. If you expected that your baby would grow into an Olympic athlete with an IQ of 148, and instead he or she is "average" then you might be very disappointed as a parent (most children are "average," which is why they call it "average."). Disappointment is often turned into anger, or at least frustration. If your child cannot live up to your expectations and dreams for him or her (and why should they?) then please be careful of your emotions. If you are not careful, your own dreams and expectations for your child will become a wedge between you and your child. Please don't make your love, encouragement, or acceptance, dependent on their performance or behavior.
Teach Responsibility to your children. Let them try things and let them fail once in a while. Don't keep bailing them out. Victory only tastes sweet if we taste the bitterness of failure once in a while. Trust me, the dog's not going to starve if he misses a meal or two. The newspaper won't come to run a story on your family if your child fails to make his bed once in a while. Just use these occasions to remind your child that if his or her dog is going to ever eat again, he needs to get out there and feed it (assuming that's your child's job), and that he or she is an important member of your home and that he needs to be responsible with doing his chores.
Make the consequences for not being responsible fit the crime. And of course be sure to reward/praise your child when he/she does act responsibly. Behavior that is rewarded tends to reoccur, and behavior that is ignored tends to go away -- so always reward and praise responsible behaviors.
Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., is a family therapist who has been working with ADHD children and their families since 1986. He is the clinical director of the ADHD Information Library's family of seven web sites, including http://www.newideas.net, helping over 350,000 parents and teachers learn more about ADHD each year. Dr. Cowan also serves on the Medical Advisory Board of VAXA International of Tampa, FL., is President of the Board of Directors for KAXL 88.3 FM in central California, and is President of NewIdeas.net Incorporated.
The Forgotten Secret of the Ancient Greeks that Shows Us How to Keep Our Teenagers Out of Trouble
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up (Ecclesiastes 3:1-3) Four of the boys at training tonight are preparing themselves for their first fight at our forthcoming Christians vs. Lions promotion, scheduled for only three weeks hence.
Back to School; Time to Recharge
The back-to-school shopping is done. Brand new pencils, colored markers, and notebooks fill my daughter's back pack.
Some Thoughts on Counseling Goals for ADHD
What should the goals for counseling be when the patient has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? Every therapist will have their own opinions, but I'll give you some of my thoughts. First, it is important to teach the child or teen with ADHD how to recognize problems and how to solve problems.
My Sweet Little Valentine
Valentine day has always been a special day in my life since Naseer, my husband proposed me to marry him a few years back. Since then, we never missed the chance of cherishing and celebrating every Valentine's Day.
How A Home Water Filter Can Reduce Your Child's Risk Of Learning Disabilities
Lead is one of the most dangerous toxins a person can be exposed to in his lifetime. Besides damage from radioactive or nuclear chemicals, significant exposure to lead can cause some of the most severe and even fatal health effects possible.
10 Tips for Making Daily Physical Activity Part of Your Childs Life!
Here's some of the bad news about sedentary lifestyles:? Forty percent of children ages 5 to 8 show at least one heart disease risk factor, including hypertension and obesity, which among children has doubled over the past two decades.? The first signs of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) are appearing at age 5 - something never before seen in anyone under the age of 30.
Family Meetings Are Now On The Agenda
"Not another meeting!"That tends to be the reaction from many parents when they hear the M word mentioned. Parents tend to associate meetings with the workplace rather than families.
ADHD: Some Survival Strategies for Parents
In our last issue we posted some of our suggested Survival Strategies for parents, and then asked readers to contribute some of their thoughts or tips. Since this newsletter is already running pretty long, I'll only list a few of them below.
Parenting Your Teenager: Are Sleep Overs with the Opposite Sex OK?
Q. Our 17-year-old son wants us to let his girlfriend spend the night at our house in his room.
Teach Your Children About the Importance of Water
The Flow of WaterWater is essential for life on the Planet, we all know this, water holds a very special place for us for that very reason. Some of us fish, some of us surf, some own a boat, some of like water features near our homes, some own swimming pools, but all of us drink water.
Help Your Children to Love Reading
It is so important to create an environment that promotes the love of reading. Not only is reading necessary for survival in today's world, it is educational, it sparks imagination, it is a stress reliever, provides entertainment and enjoyment, the list goes on.
Just What Is A Learning Disability?
A learning disability is defined as a permanent problem that affects a person with average to above average intelligence, in the way that he/she receives, stores, and processes information.There are many wrong ideas out there about learning disabilities.
Understanding A Childs Beliefs, Nuturing Young Beliefs
Children are moral and make moral determinations..
Go Ahead - Make Dads Day
Throughout the year, many days of celebration are tucked capriciously into the calendar. So much so, it is hard to find any day of the year where something or someone is not being observed, which has benefited the greeting card company, you can be sure.
Tips for Keeping Packed Lunches Fun and Interesting
? Let the child choose his or her own lunch box or reusable lunch bag. Encourage the child to add decorations, too.
Diagnosing ADHD in Your Child, an Introduction
Everyone in a private practice setting who works with children or adults is going to have their own opinion on how Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - ADD or ADHD - should be diagnosed. Some clinics take the perspective that "more is good," and will recommend a large battery of tests, often costing many thousands of dollars.
MORAL ARMORS Irrational Parenting, Part III
Not Letting Them Think.We all implicitly know that anything questioning the process of cognition itself will be met with massive irritation, making us want to respond with "Don't question my capacity to think.
Bad Boys/Good Boys (Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Being An Insensitive Dad)
I WAS AMAZEDI could hardly believe what I was hearing. A father and his son had entered the men's room.
Teaching Your Children About the Value of Money
We take it for granted that children know how money gets into our wallets. The tips below will guide you through teaching your children the value of money.
Non-Compliance in Your Children, Some Tips for Parents
Non-compliance is the family therapist's big word for your child not obeying you when you have asked him or her to do something. It is helpful because it is descriptive, and because it may also motivate us as parents to move our kids from being non-compliant to being compliant.
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