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Appreciate Your Child

Appreciation helps develop self-confidence. It helps your child get a sense of right from wrong, and prevents him from feeling neglected.

Reward good behaviour

Praise other children

Maintain a star chart

wo-year-old Sahana lets her mom know whenever she has gone to the bathroom by herself, and when she gets a hug and a 'Well done, good girl!' from her mother, her day is made!

On the other hand, Shruthi just refused to put her toys back in her toy bag after playing, and would only do so after her mother had shouted and threatened her many times. If only Shruthi's mother praised her every time when she did indeed put her toys away, instead of shouting at her every time she didn't, Shruthi's behaviour may have been different.

Many of us forget to appreciate and acknowledge our children when they do something right. Appreciation helps develop self-confidence. A simple "Good job!" for as trivial a task as tucking up shoes and socks in the shoe rack can work wonders for a child's self-esteem.

Appreciation gives a child a sense of right and wrong. The minute you praise your child for something he has done, he understands that you would like him to do it again. In addition, your child realizes that his actions are being observed. And as children crave love and attention, they will strive to earn your praise again and again.

Appreciation prevents your child from feeling neglected. We as parents should realize that children really want and require their parents' attention. Appreciation is a way of giving your child that attention. If he doesn't get it in this way, you can be sure that your child will feel neglected and will find other ways to get your attention - ways that you may definitely not approve of! So make sure you appreciate your child, and be vocal about it.

Appreciation need not always be verbal. Every once in a while, give your child a small treat when he does something important, right. For example, if you went out for dinner and your child behaved himself very well, and everyone praised him, you could treat him with an ice-cream, after praising him for his good behaviour.

When in the presence of other children, be sure to appreciate them as well. Simply praising your child and ignoring other children is incredibly rude. It will also make other children resentful of your child, so if you want your child to have friends, be good to them! This will also help your child to view the positive traits in others.

Chithra maintained a star chart for her child, and every time her child scored well in a test, she would give her a stars. Five stars would earn her a reward, ten stars would earn her a bigger reward! This was Chitra'a way of encouraging her child to do well at school. You can have your own system of giving your child stars. For example, if you want to encourage your child's singing talent, you could give your child a star every time he sings a complete song, or every time his singing teacher praised him. However, if you want your children to take this star system seriously, make sure you take it seriously as well. Chitra actually cut out stars from gold paper, and would stick it religiously on a chart which she pinned up to a bulletin board.

Not only will your child grow up to be more confident, self assured and well behaved, but he will also be equally appreciative of others, including you! Expect a lot of praise the next time you serve them their favourite food.

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