Tips to Help Teach Encouragement

Encouragement is extremely contagious. If someone gives you praise, it sets the stage for you to do the same for someone else's efforts.

Children are exactly the same; through recognizing and encouraging their efforts, not just their successes, you teach your children the value of encouraging others and how they can pass along praise in an effective way. 

Here are 5 Keys to Encouraging Children to Encourage Themselves:

1. Encourage them to participate in an activity. Every child has hidden talents just waiting to be discovered; they just need exposure to activities they're good at so they can become more self-confident. Here's what you can do as a parent to foster these special talents:

  • Have casual chats with your child to find out what his or her interests are.
  • Observe your child while playing outdoors and indoors, or watching TV (you can get an idea from the kinds of programs that interest them.)
  • Encourage your child to join whatever activities they really enjoy.

2. Show your child affection. Children love to be loved and the more affection you can show as a parent, the more confident your child will feel about his or her abilities and potential. Affection, appreciation, and love are the keys to boosting your child's confidence.

  • Play with them outdoors or even when they're playing video games inside.
  • Ask for help with something you're doing and express true appreciation for the assistance they provide.
  • Hug them, kiss them, and say: "I love you" whenever you get the chance.

3. Teach them to make their own decisions. One of the best ways to help boost your child's self-confidence is encouraging them to make their own healthy decisions. Kids rely on parents for guidance, which is good, but it sometimes makes them doubtful of their own abilities to make decisions. You could perhaps:

  • Get them involved in choosing the subjects they want to study at school.
  • Take them along on grocery day so they can have a hand in choosing healthy foods.
  • Teach them how to identify positive traits in people and let them choose their friends accordingly.

4. Ask for help with chores at home. Getting your kids involved in at-home activities like household chores can teach them responsibility and provides you with the opportunity to praise them and build their self-confidence.  They'll probably start thinking to themselves:

  • "I mow the lawn at home and I'm good at it!"
  • "Mom wants me to dry the dishes, which means she thinks I do a great job!"
  • "Dad must think I'm responsible because he asks me to walk the dog everyday!" 

5. Avoid getting upset about failures. Often times, it's easier to express disappointment when your child underperforms, but you can use the opportunity to encourage them instead. At the end of the day, all children just want to know their parents are proud of them. Show your pride, love, and trust by:

  • Continually encouraging them to keep trying at that math formula until they get it right.
  • Giving them advice and tips on how to score a goal.
  • Taking them for a treat after a loss or failure so they feel renewed to try harder next time. 

From Personal Development Master