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praise, not criticism

I really hate seeing bullied mothers angry at their children, yelling and yelling over what seem to be little faults. I wish they could relax and enjoy their children more. Praise and approval are the easiest way to reward a child and change unwanted behaviors. Constant daily criticism will hurt a child and leave a lasting effect, teasing and sarcasm should also be avoided. The important people in your life as a child create the strongest negative and positive effect, parents, grandparents, peers and teachers.

You probably have some bad memories of childhood events that can even now affect the way you perceive yourself. I remember my dad constantly telling me that he couldn’t sing and laughing at my attempts to sing in tune. I’m sure it was true and I meant no harm, but instead of helping me, I stopped trying, accepted that I couldn’t sing and even now I never sing, although I always wished I had learned to sing in tune as a child.

He was a kind but very precise conservative man, even as a teenager he had a strict bedtime and despite my efforts to be ready for bed on time, if I was literally 1 minute late he would look at his watch and complain or comment . . This became something that I felt I could never please him with; I was disappointed that I couldn’t accomplish what I set out to do and gave up trying. I remember feeling very sad as a young teenager, desperately wanting to please him but often failing. I’m sure he didn’t realize how upset he caused me, but keep in mind what his reactions mean to his son, watch his eyes and his body actions, so that he can react with empathy to the discipline him. These illustrations are to remember, surely you also have situations from your childhood.

Always look for the little things to praise instead of what is wrong. Be prepared to explain behaviors that are unacceptable to you, so the child knows exactly what he has done that you don’t like. Always be constant and firm in important matters. Never laugh at bad behavior, even if your little one is adorable and has a big smile and looks for attention, while he is being naughty. A firm “NO” and a “look” or frown say a lot; if practiced early on, there is seldom a need to yell. Save that for when there is imminent danger. If you get into the habit of yelling for minor offenses, the yelling gets louder and louder. This makes both of them more and more stressed.

Staying calm and in control of the situation is a much better way and a good example for your child to emulate. Praise love and approval are what all human beings crave and children more than most. Don’t be afraid to show your love to your children, your partner and your parents. Help make the world a happy place!

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