Encouragement is Key to building confidence and a strong sense of self and helps parents promote cooperation and reduce conflict. Many successful people remember the encouragement of a parent, teacher, or other adult. Consistent encouragement helps youth feel good about themselves and gives confidence to:
- Try new activities.
- Tackle different tasks.
- Develop new friendships.
- Explore their creativity.
Practices That Are Discouraging
- Being sarcastic or negative about a child’s ability to be successful.
- Comparing a child to siblings and friends.
- Taking over when a child’s progress is slow.
- Reminding a child of past failures.
Encouragement Promotes a Strong Sense of Self Because it Sends Three Main Messages to Your Child:
You Can Do It! Youth believe they can do things if parents:
- Help them break a problem down into smaller parts.
- Remind them of their strengths and past successes.
- Encourage them by sharing how they have dealt with challenges.
Examples of Encouraging Phrases
- "I know that wasn’t easy."
- "You did such an awesome job!"
- "Keep on trying."
- "You are very good at that."
- "You are learning a lot."
- "I like the way you did that."
- "I can tell you’ve been practicing."
- "It’s great to see you working so hard!"
- "I’m so proud of you."
You Have Good Ideas! Youth believe they have good ideas if parents:
- Ask them to share their opinions and feelings.
- Listen to what they have to say.
- Ask them for input concerning family plans and events.
- Ask them for ideas to solve family problems.
You Are Important! Youth know they are important if parents:
- Remember what they have told you.
- Make time for them each day.
- Attend school and extracurricular activities.
- Let them know that you are thinking about them when you can’t be with them.
- Display things they have made and recognitions they receive.