In Praise of Praise


As a parent, we often give in to our children’s demands the moment they start throwing a tantrum, as it is the easiest way to make them behave. But even as we often give in, or admonish them for their bad behaviour, how often do we praise them for their good behaviour?

We often tend to take good behaviour for granted, but did you realize that this is exactly the reason your child starts throwing a tantrum?

Imagine a situation where you are at home, busy on the phone, and your child made a beautiful drawing and wanted to show you. You may just nod your head and not really notice it. Or, you were busy with your chores, and your child picked up the toys and put them in place, but you failed to notice it, or did not mention anything about it.

Now imagine a situation when you are on the phone, and your child starts screaming and shouting. You immediately place the call on hold and tend to your child’s need, giving him whatever it is they want so that they will be quiet and you can resume your call.

Did you realize what happened?

When your child was doing something nice, you did not give the attention he or she deserved, and were busy in your own thing. However, when your child started shouting and threw a tantrum, you immediately made time and attended to your child’s needs. While this was not something you may have done intentionally, the message it sends across to your child is very clear.

Your child felt that shouting and throwing a tantrum was the only way to get your attention. With time, this can become a habit.

Why it is important to praise your child

Whenever your child does something good, take the time and effort to acknowledge it and praise. For instance, if your child picks up one toy from the floor, you can praise by saying ‘Good.’ Next, if your child picks up the next toy, say something more encouraging such as ‘Wow, that’s really nice! Let’s see how many more you can pick up.”

Each time your child displays good behaviour, acknowledge and praise, so that it boosts their self-confidence, makes them feel you are proud of them and makes them want to do good each time. And yes, tell them that you are proud of them.


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