A child’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. Let’s look at why it is extremely important to appreciate your child and become a WOWParent.
A valuable boost to a child’s self-esteem can be attained when you appreciate your child and motivate them. There is a distinct difference between appreciation and motivation. Appreciation is for the good they have in them or for some good that they did. Whereas, motivation is to tell them what they can do good in times to come. Motivation is also about how can they improve.
Lack of appreciation can directly create a complex in children.
Scientists say that by the age of 8 a child learns more than 60% of what they will learn in their entire life. When asked why this happens this way, most people seem to believe that since the brain is still fresh, children can absorb a lot until the age of 8.
To counter this research, there are enough research reports that claim, in his entire life, a human being hardly uses about 3% of their brain’s capacity. So 97% of a person’s brain is unutilized at the time of his death.
Leave the scientists. Have you ever wondered why kids learn at a fast speed or how they are able to absorb so much till they are 8? Have you ever wondered why their speed of learning slows down around the age of 8?
Interaction with parents, observing the way kids learn, researching on how parents and children interact, asking parents who have groomed children who seem to defy this 8 years landmark, has provided us with a super clue as to why learning slows down in children around 8 years of age.
The answer lies in ‘appreciation’. Do a quick recap and see how you appreciated your child when they were two or four years old and the way you appreciate them post junior school. You will be shocked that your appreciation pattern had changed drastically.
Let’s look at a few examples –
- When your child was learning how to walk, they were not taking confident steps. They were still taking steps that were unbalanced. As a parent, you always apprehended that the child might topple or fall off. So, when the child takes just one step at a time did you tell them, “I am not happy, you could have walked more?” Or did you tell them, “Look how well the other kids walk? What is wrong with you?” I am sure it was none of that. I am sure, you would have showered your child with appreciation. You would have said things like “Wow! That was good! I am so proud of you” or “You are doing great beta. Everyone learns one step at a time”. The child can see your happiness. The child can feel you being happy about their development. The child believes they are good!
- Your child is just two years old. She child goes to school and learns to write “A”. There is no perfect “A” at this time. One line goes up the other goes across and chances are that the third line does not even meet both the lines properly. Even when it is not an “A”, when you see the first almost an “A”, you appreciate the child. You never ask “Are you dumb?” “Can’t you write an “A” properly?” or “When everyone in the class can write, why can’t you?”.Instead of making any negative remarks you choose to communicate with your child. You choose to boost your child’s morale. You say “I am so proud of you”. Your words make the child feel special and valued. It encourages the child to work harder towards learning more.
- When the child learns his first nursery rhyme and sings to you. The child might forget some adjoining words or even an entire phrase of the newly learned poem. Did you scold the child? Did you tell the child, “Your memory is so bad.” Or “Why should I pay for your school anymore?”. In such a case, do you appreciate your child or do you depreciate him?. Despite his forgetting words, you always tell your child, ‘well done’. You appreciate your child for the efforts he made. Your excitement makes the child extremely confident. They want to try harder.
Human beings thrive on appreciation. When they get appreciation they believe that they can achieve anything in life. And when they see someone excited about their work, it fills them with a desire to do more. They want to excel.
Till the age of 8, expectations of parents from children is less, and appreciation is high. Somewhere around the 8 of age, parents change. Their expectations become high and appreciation becomes less.
Earlier even when the child did little things, appreciation was easy, frequent and extremely high. Now, even when they take big steps, parents want them to go bigger. Suddenly the child sees a huge reversal between expectations and appreciation.
So, ‘Learning and Development’ is not about the capacity of the mind or the possibility of the brain. It is about appreciation or the lack of appreciation in the life of the child.
Children end up saying statements like, “Whatever I do, my parents will not be happy” or “Whatever I achieve in life, my father will never be happy”. This is because, some parents, consistently tell the children what is not good about them. It demoralizes them.
Some parents do the opposite. They consistently tell their children, what they are great at. For the slightest of improvements, the child gets appreciated. This spurs the child forward.
When you need to show them the capability they have, appreciate them, motivate them. Help them set new targets. Show them you are already excited about what they have done and you believe they can do more.
To summarize, in life, to have healthy self-esteem, we all need appreciation and motivation. Growing kids need a lot more motivation and appreciation than we adults do. Lack of this appreciation and motivation leads to a complex in kids.
The formative years of our lives, shape us in a big way. When kids get enough appreciation, they develop into secure adults with healthy self-esteem.
How do we ensure that there is enough appreciation in the lives of our children? However, big or small their achievement is, encourage them and appreciate them. That will help them to achieve even more.
Be it something as small as making a neat origami paper boat, getting better marks in a spelling test or something like helping the elderly at home with a chore, anything it all. Remember to appreciate your child.
If you already appreciate your child regularly, you are a WOW Parent. If there is a slight gap, remember, it is never too late, start appreciating your child from today.