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Parenting 8 compliments you should stop giving your kids

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They could be causing more harm than good

play Parents and their children (Courtesy)

Everyone gets it when a parent just wants to boost their child’s self-esteem but what they don’t know is that they may be unintentionally setting their child up to struggle.

The point of praising your child is so that you can encourage positive behavior in them but for some parents they might be overcompensating.

There are however a couple of compliments that may seem good to tell your children but can actually be counteractive.

“You’re so smart”

Child development experts have revealed that being “smart” is not a behavior that kids are born with therefore they do not perceive it as something they can control.

This may be the reason why when they find homework to be easy, then they automatically feel like they are smart but if it becomes difficult then they may feel that they are not smart enough.

Instead of simply telling them that they are smart you can try saying things like “I am so proud of how hard you worked on your Math homework”.

Such compliments translate that success is due to effort and therefore when they face another difficult situation in their lives they are more likely to work hard to overcome that difficulty.

ALSO READ: Challenges single mothers face

"You are so pretty"

In a culture where value is constantly being linked to appearance, a lot of young girls may grow up believing that they need to be attractive in order to appreciate their worth.

Research has revealed that if a girl does not feel pretty, she may feel that she is not lovable and she cannot do anything about it.

This may cause her to focus on being pretty thus neglecting other valuable skills that she might have, for example sports.

“Good boy/girl”

This is a common phrase that a lot of parents use especially when their child does something good and there is nothing wrong with being good.

Apparently telling your child how good they are may make them become heavily invested in attaining perfection before your eyes that they may end up hiding their true selves from you.

Instead refer to your child’s actions rather than evaluating the child as a whole.

“You are the best”

Such compliments can put a lot of pressure on your children which can make them set insanely high standards for themselves.

They might end up feeling like they always have to be the best at what they do and this can lead them to stop applying themselves to try new things.

Help your child create realistic, attainable standards and start praising their personal best instead of comparison to others.

ALSO READ: 4 things baby mothers should stop doing

“Great job”

This may not be the best way of motivating your child as it may make them become someone that constantly needs reassurance.

They complete a task just so that they can get a compliment and not because they want to accomplish something thus killing his/her motivation.

Praising your child for everything they do can make the compliments seem meaningless.

You can try change the praise to “thank you helping” instead of “great job watering the plants”.

An insincere compliment

Kids are probably the most sincere people on this planet and they are also the best detectors of insincerity.

The best thing you can do in such a situation is be as honest as you possibly can without overcompensating on your compliment.

Be sincere about the values and traits that you really value in them.

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