Raising Confident Kids

All parents seek to raise confident children who blossom into confident teens and adults. But exactly how do we do that? Dr. Peggy Drexler, a research psychologist, has an answer – stop praising them all the time!  Her recent article “The Key to Raising Confident Kids? Stop Complimenting Them!” explains that parents would do better in fostering self-esteem by praising the process of learning and doing rather than over-emphasizing the reward.

Here’s an excerpt from Dr. Drexler’s HuffPost Parents piece:

“First things first: I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be supportive or encouraging, or help kids feel loved. But how often do we find ourselves saying “great job!” to the 4-year-old who cleans up her crayons after a coloring session? Or to the 8-year-old who finishes his broccoli? By dishing out praise to a child for doing things she should be doing anyway, we teach her that she gets rewarded just for being. Later, we tell them they’re smart or…awesome baseball players before they’ve had a chance to earn it — or know what those words really mean. They grow up placing their self-worth in that praise…”

Truth be told, I complimented broccoli eating last evening. So what’s the right way to go about it all? Dr. Drexler continues:

“The point isn’t to criticize children. But it’s to recognize that self-esteem really, truly comes as the result of achievement — in the classroom, on the field, at home — rather than false accomplishments. Instead of praising your child with “you’re so smart!” be specific. Tell him, “You did a great job on your spelling quiz,” or simply, “You tied your own shoes!” Instead of telling him he’s the best on the team when you really don’t mean it, tell him you could tell he tried hard. Next time, he’ll try even harder — guaranteed.”

Here’s the full article.

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Author: ellseaver

Family Editor - When it comes to family matters, there is always something to talk about. Ellen shares the latest.