7. Punish mistakes
Mistakes are for learning. When children are punished for mistakes, no learning takes place. It is important to role model how to improve and how to learn from mistakes so they are not repeated. Punishment makes a child feel bad about themselves, and doesn’t train them for life.
Instead of criticizing and condemning, try to understand your children. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. Let’s be sympathetic and tolerant; it teaches them kindness. Let’s give healthy doses of praise and acceptance instead of oodles of criticism.
All children have one thing in common: potential
As parents, grandparents, relatives, and teachers, we get to choose how we will make a difference in the lives of children. Will our words and actions build up or tear down? I constantly need to remember that I shape their potential with my actions and a powerful muscle, the tongue. The poem below is one of my all time favorites. I had it posted where I could see it daily as my children were growing up, because I vowed to build up more than squash their self-esteem.
CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE
Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.
If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.
If a child lives with fear,
he learns to be apprehensive.
If a child lives with pity,
he learns to feel sorry for himself.
If a child lives with ridicule,
he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with jealousy,
he learns what envy is.
If a child lives with shame,
he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with praise,
he learns to be appreciative.
If a child lives with acceptance,
he learns to love.
If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with recognition,
he learns that it is good to have a goal.
If a child lives with sharing,
he learns about generosity.
If a child lives with honesty and fairness,
he learns what truth and justice are.
If a child lives with security,
he learns to have faith in himself and in those about him.
If a child lives with friendliness,
he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.
If you live with serenity,
your child will live with peace of mind.
With what is your child living?
Let’s make a positive difference
Pamela Hall — Wife. Mom. Teacher. Writer. Education & literacy consultant. Lover of God, cappuccino, and chocolate. Leader. Ordinary with an extraordinary desire to make a positive difference in the lives of others, particularly children. Founder/blogger of Literate For Life.
Source: Canfield, J. & Wells, H. C. (1976). 100 ways to enhance self-concept in the classroom: A handbook for teachers and patents. Boston: Allyn & Bacon