It is important for parents to accept their children for who they are rather than for what they can do.
Parental attitudes often have a direct bearing on the self-concept of the child. Some parents feel guilty or disappointed if their child does not perform as well as others. These feelings are usually irrational and sometimes result in irrational criticism of the child. If the child fails, the parent may show disappointment, guilt, and may not always be supportive of the child’s efforts. This reaction can make the child feel insecure and less likely to succeed the next time.
Studies show that parents who have unrealistic expectations of their children tend to have children who are unsure of themselves. On the other hand, parents who are accepting of their children tend to have children who are more mature, realistic, independent and innovative.
Children who are loved for themselves are simply better adjusted than those whose parents stress “being best” as a condition for love and acceptance. In a highly competitive society, it sometimes seems difficult to teach a child that winning is not everything. But if we don’t the child will be the ultimate loser.
Focus on the positive. Every person does something well, whether it’s being cheerful in the morning, getting along with friends, working neatly, running fast, telling funny jokes.Observe what your child does well and compliment them on it.
Give regular and sincere praise. Every person likes to get appreciation for what they do well.The effect of praise is magical to a child. It helps the child go ahead and keep trying new things.
Accept your child for who he or she is. The other side of focusing on positive traits is accepting a child for who they are.This means letting your child excel in their own way and loving them regardless of whether those ways are the ones you would have chosen for him or her.
Be realistic in your expectations. Find out from your child’s teacher if their classroom performance matches his or her potential.
Remember, the thing that brings supreme happiness to a child’s life is the conviction that they are loved,
As always, you and your wonderful children are in my daily thoughts and prayers.
Terri Nicholson, LCPC
School Counseling Consultant