Absolutely Incredible Kids Day is an absolute remarkable day for national letter writing campaign that helps the parents and caregivers become aware of their value and individuality.
March 15 is the day that enables every parent to write a letter to their children for praising them, supporting, and encouraging them. The format of the letter depends on parent’s choice, it can be formal, a postcard, a short note, or greeting card or even an email – telling the kid about the value he or she holds in his/her parents life.
This campaign is outstanding in its ways, but Milton Montessori School system believes that children deserve to hear ‘their praise’ more often, in fact on every single day. Genuine comments help build better self esteem in children – despite the age. Consider even regular school system where children have grades and competition, an unfortunate way of giving negative review.
Self Esteem as Measured in Numbers
A powerful research conducted at University of Iowa concluded that, an average 2 year old child hears almost 432 negative comments per day, while the number of positive remarks is 32 each day. Another study by a self-esteem expert stated that, self-esteem of a first grader is high as compared to a student of 5th grade. Out of all the students tested, only 20% were measuring up to a good mark. And by graduation time, the number decreased to 5 % only.
The question raised was: Who is responsible for bringing the self-esteem of children down and who is responsible for the development?
A survey of almost 1000 teachers and parents concluded this; 72% of parents blamed teachers for bringing the self-esteem of children down, while 78% teachers accused parents for being responsible.
Solution: Encouragement of child through genuine praise! The Montessori rules and philosophy clearly determine the importance of praise for children. Maria Montessori stated, “You don’t need to praise children for everything they do. You don’t need to continually reward children for their talent and smartness. Rather, telling them how smart and talented they are can make them become the opposite”
Praise More Than Required
Too much of praise can also be detrimental. Praising kids consistently for anything they do can hinder their growth and can simply be insincere. Children praised for every move can make them become fearsome. They can be afraid for taking risks and trying out new things. And too much praise, unnecessary praise can develop overconfidence in them.
At the same time, since children observe and feel more, some might feel the insincerity of praise and will lose trust. Moreover, an artificial praise that the child recognizes will develop inability in them for understanding their own strength and limit. If a child fails on trying something, praise the effort of trying, and encourage for developing strength to fight the failure.
Follow Montessori Principle of Effective Praising
Montessori education emphasizes on encouragement rather than praising. Praise has to be genuine and focused on appreciation of the effort and hard work, and not on the outcome. For instance, praising has to be for going to a basketball practice and the work done in improving on skills and not on winning the game.
Although, praise is important in fostering the confidence of your child and his or her self-esteem, but the quality of the praise is more significant than the quantity. As parents you can create a major difference in developing confidence, coordination, concentration, independence, and order in your child – in the right way- through simple praise of their attributes than actions.
Encourage your kids for new and difficult activities through praising. But avoid rewarding them or acknowledging every move they make, this will only make things easier for them and will turn them into dependent children. You can be very clear about your praise, let it be genuine and at the same time encourage them. Help your child develop confidence while displaying how their effort and hard work will pay off.
Last but not the least; parents are primary in boosting self-esteem in children. So, try eliminating the negativity in household and bring positivity by appreciating your children for the efforts they make in doing something.