A message from our Director
1) “You’re so smart!” When we say that to a child, it gives them the message that tasks should come easy to them. When faced with a challenge, they may be less likely to try, so as not to fail. Instead, when children are encouraged for their efforts, as in “wow, it looks like you really worked hard on this!”, they are more motivated to continue to try hard, regardless of the results, and are therefore more eager to try new activities.
2) “Were you a good boy today?” When we say this to a child, they learn that your love is conditional on whether they are “good” or “bad”. Children need to know that you love them no matter what. You may have a problem with their behaviour (and you can be clear what that is) but best to separate the deed from the doer.
3) Correcting vs connecting: Children learn quickly that they get attention through negative behavior such as whining or tantrums. If instead, you make a point of noticing and commenting on their positive behaviour, they will learn to get attention that way. Meaningful connections during positive moments can help break a cycle of negative attention seeking behaviour.
4) “Wow, that’s a beautiful painting!” We have all said this, but it doesn’t really give any meaningful or specific feedback. Again, effort is important to notice. “I really like all the different colours you used and how you filled the whole page” or “Look at all the details you added here!” Be specific in your encouragement.
5) Helping your child too much…..whether it is with dressing or tidying up…there needs to be a good balance between what is challenging yet achievable. This takes time and often when we are in a rush, it is easier to just do it for them. Whenever possible, take the time to wait while they figure it out. “Zippers can be tricky, but with practice, your brain and your fingers will make it work.” When a child says “I did it!” it really means “I did it by myself” which goes far in building confidence and self-esteem.
Until next time……..Leslie