3 common mistakes
Although well meaning, even the smartest, most loving parents tend to make the following mistakes:
3. Rave too easily
“You’re super!” “You’re gifted.” Everyone wins! Everyone gets a trophy.
With these kinds of raves and actions kids start to realize that only mom and dad think they are the greatest. No one else is saying it. They begin to doubt the objectivity of their parents. It feels good in the moment, but isn’t connected to reality. These types of unearned raves don’t condition kids to put in the effort to win, or work for recognition for their own sense of accomplishment.
My daughter, Lexi, played basketball for years while in elementary school and every year the team rarely won, but magically, every year all of the team members received their own shiny gold trophy. Now, in junior high, she is on a competitive jump rope team and for the first time would be participating in a national competition. She practiced all year because she really wanted to make it on stage to the awards podium. She could see herself there. Although she did not win first place or a “gold trophy” she achieved fourth place, made it to the awards podium and was so proud that her hard work paid off.
(By the way, all of those trophies that I was asked to pay for each year are now at the bottom of a box under her bed.)
2. Talk too small
Talk to your child using your own vocabulary and voice. Converse with them as you would anyone else and they will learn vocabulary, assertiveness, and self-worth. Using “baby talk” or talking down to them rather than using complete sentences and actual real words doesn’t prepare children for actual conversation with real people.
My aunt made a point of always speaking using adult vocabulary in conversations with her kids at the dinner table.
My grown cousins have the largest vocabularies of anyone that I know.
1. Rescue too quickly
Allow your child to think, try and stumble in order to achieve success through natural consequences. Like a muscle will atrophy in a cast, so will the life navigation muscles without active use.
If you have a child like my youngest who is shy, you might be tempted to order for them at a restaurant or promptly speak up on their behalf when they are asked a question.
Engaging in conversation is one of the most valuable skills you can give your child. Allowing them to speak and assert themselves is essential in navigating their world and preparing them for future opportunities.
As parents our job is to prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child. Check out this GREAT ARTICLE FROM TIM ELMORE which goes in depth on these 3 mistakes.
As children begin the process they need to learn HOW to effectively navigate their social world using proper manners and etiquette.
Manners raise a child’s social IQ and flag them as a reasonable, thoughtful person.
As our culture progresses into one that centers more around the single person thanks to things like smartphones, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, it’s even more important than ever to make sure you EQUIP YOUR CHILDREN WITH THE SKILLS AND TECHNIQUES TO BEHAVE IN SOCIAL SITUATIONS. As technology advances and the world continues to become more self-centered, children today have fewer opportunities to practice these social skills on their own.