Appreciation ! Who doesn’t like it??
We all do! Then why will the kids not like the appreciation. They definitely will. But this goes the other way around also. Appreciating using wrong words, can sometimes change the behavior.
A well behaved child if appreciated too much can sometimes feel he or she is good enough and whatever they do is always fine.
Or, if you keep rewarding the child as an appreciation for the work he or she did, the child will start demanding it every time they think they did something good or extraordinary. A balance is therefore needed to help the child feel loved, at the same time the child should understand that appreciation is not the only reason good behavior or values should be followed. This is called positive parenting.
- Listen to your child
- Appreciate the good work
- Let the child participate in the family decisions (age appropriate)
- Praise them for participation
- Let the kid choose
- Tell them how much you love them
- Thank them for the little things they do
- Compliment them when they achieve something
- Apologize when you are wrong
- Compliment their appearance
Listen to your child
Listening is one of the major steps of appreciation. When you listen to someone the person feels that the person is important, and that means the person is appreciated.
You might be busy when the child wants to tell you his or her story, but listening at that particular time will give them a sense of respect, that they are important too. Or, if you can not leave your work at that present moment (say you are on a call) then just politely tell your child that you will get back to him or her. And don’t forget to get back.
It is very popularly said, “If you listen to your child today, your child will talk to you tomorrow.”
Appreciate the good work
Do not just always say, good girl or good boy. Instead appreciate the work the child has done.
For example, if the child cleaned the room, say “that is wonderful, your room looks so neat and tidy. Guess you did a lot of hard work in there.” If you simply say good girl or boy, a wrong message is sent to the child sometime, where they think they are naturally smart and don’t need to do much effort.
We need the kids to work hard, not to feel that they are born perfect.
Let the child participate in the family decisions (age appropriate)
If someone is part of the important decision, then the person feels that he or she is important. And if the person feels important he or she feels appreciated.
Involve your child in small discussions and decisions at home from younger age itself.
For example, what they want to wear. Give them 2-3 options and let them choose what they want to wear out of it. What to eat for lunch or dinner, again give them few options and ask them what would they want you to cook. Including them in small discussions at home will help in making them independent as well.
Praise them for participation
Winning is never important. Participation is.
Whether it was a school event, or a game on a birthday part, or anything your child participated in, even if they didn’t win, it is okay to appreciate.
Appreciate the participation, so that from the next time they do not feel reluctant to participate even if they did not win. If they won, then nothing like that. But participation is the key.
Let the kid choose
As mentioned earlier taking their own decisions is important. That means you trust them. And if they know you trust them, they will feel appreciated.
For example, you are going out for shopping, choose a few clothes and let them decide what they want to buy for themselves. Or, when you get something for yourself, ask there opinion, “Is it looking good on me?” A simple gesture of letting them choose or giving an opinion matters a lot. Also, it will help them in trusting their own judgement.
Tell them how much you love them
Telling someone that you love them is a kind of appreciation that they are important to you.
Say “I love you” to your child more often, and slowly they will start saying the same back and will mean it as well.
Don’t feel shy or hesitate, words are an important means of telling the other person that they matter.
Thank them for the little things they do
“Thank you” is a magical word. In itself it means I appreciate the gesture or your help. So do not hesitate in saying “thank you” to your child.
They might be small but they will feel appreciated when you say thank you for their small effort to help you or for listening to you or for keeping the room clean. It can be anything for that matter.
Compliment them when they achieve something
It is a big moment when you achieve something. Complimenting them for their smallest achievements is a big way of saying we appreciate you for the good play.
If your child achieved a second or a third position, do not mention why not first? Appreciate for being second or third and tell them their hard work payed and they can try better next time. Do not pull them down.
Apologize when you are wrong
Adults can be wrong too. Like the other day my daughter mentioned that they just played with clay at school. But from another mom I came to know that they painted as well. But my daughter denied. I got a little upset and asked her why she is not telling me when I am asking her directly. She just had tears in her eyes and said she did not paint.
Later I came to know there were two groups one painted and the other played with the clay. So my daughter was right to say she did not paint. I should have trusted her. I was wrong here.
Compliment their appearance
Society has a very mean way of degrading everyone, including the children, making comments on the appearance in front of them. Yes I have been through it.
First, do not be that mean person of the society.
Second, respond to anyone who degrades your child in front of the child, that he or she is perfect the way they are.
Thirdly, appreciate your child’s appearance, if you start appreciating them from the infancy, what the other person tells them will not matter at all. They will always feel beautiful.
Do not let them discriminate others, on the basis of caste, creed, appearance, and if you hear them saying anything which they might have learnt from a peer, correct them then and there.
It is not difficult to appreciate. Thinking that they are kids, and it won’t just matter to them is such a wrong notion. They are human beings too, and human beings can understand, whether big or small, old or young. So, appreciate your child even for the smallest things.