It is one thing to recognize a child for everything he does well and remind him from time to time (something very necessary), and quite another is constantly telling him how wonderful he is in everything (even, even if it's a lie). Just as damaging is a lack of incentives and positive reinforcement as an excess of flattery. The great Aristotle already said it in his day: 'Virtue is in the middle'.
Lack of self-esteem is bad. But so is pride. And we parents have a lot to do with all of this. The child, after all, is building his personality, in part, by the stimuli he receives from the outside. If your environment does nothing but tell you how well you do everything, it will be thought that it is a kind of 'superhero' or 'Pythagorin' unbeatable. Reality? which is not. And the day will come when someone reminds him ...
Here are the consequences of flattering your child excessively (even 'invent' virtues that it does not have):
1. You are lying to him, and when your child realizes it, he will think that lying is a useful tool for everyone.
2. You do not encourage him to improve nor do you stimulate in him the spirit of effort. Yes it is already perfect! Why strive?
3. He will think that others are inferior to him. This does not help him in any way to establish social relationships with the other children and in the long run he will have problems of acceptance in the group.
4. You will generate in him a low tolerance for frustration. This can lead to emotional problems in the future during adolescence and adulthood.
5. It will be too demanding of others. You won't understand that humans make mistakes. And that he can also commit them. If his parents consider him perfect ... he will demand the same from others.
The compliments or compliments should be more descriptive, not so evaluative. In fact, experts say that evaluative praise (like: 'what a wonderful job you've done!', 'It's fabulous', 'You're so amazing!', 'You're the smartest in the world') creates dependency. Descriptive praise nevertheless helps the child to draw his own conclusions and to improve himself. They are these kinds of compliments:
- 'Wow, the character in your drawing already has five fingers on each hand ... You do much better!'
- 'Congratulations! You have scored a goal! ... you are improving a lot and if you continue like this, you will become an excellent striker '
In this way, the child values his effort and is rewarded. What does not mean, of course, that we remind him from time to time how wonderful he is for us and highlight his virtues (but not always).
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