Be encouraging

Encouragement is not the same as false praise.

One supports and guides, the other flatters and coddles.

One often includes constructive criticism, the other sees any criticism as a blow to self esteem.

Encouragement helps a person see the possibilities open to them and helps them do what it will take to succeed.   False praise makes a person believe – at least temporarily – that they are already the best and need not do anything extra to succeed.  (Disillusionment in one form or another almost inevitably follows.)

It is important to know the difference, because encouragement in the pursuit of any goal or achievement is vital.   Confusing encouragement with false praise causes some parents to remain silent or even discourage their children from pursuing something they enjoy.   They fear giving the child an inflated ego, but what they really do with their silence or negative statements is communicate to the child that the thing in which they are interested is unworthy or unattainable.

Sometimes the only thing that determines which path a child takes in life is one person and the words they speak.

Make sure yours are encouraging.


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