When raising children, there are times when you may feel more relaxed in letting your child develop his or her own personality without badgering them about specifics. For instance, it is easy to simply shut his or her bedroom door if you don’t want to see the mess. While some parents are inclined to allow the child to develop their own sense of the world, it could be in his or her best interest to demonstrate a sense of pride in themselves and tasks they accomplish.
Pride isn’t the same as developing a sense of conceit. Being proud of your accomplishment doesn’t have to mean that you’re looking for attention. Something as simple as keeping a bedroom clear of clutter could give a child a sense of pride as the area is now clean. However, some children may have a difficult time grasping the concept of taking pride in themselves and their work. How does a parent overcome this obstacle?
1. Lead by Example – The first thing you need to realize is that children take their cues of life from you. If you don’t demonstrate a pride in yourself or your surroundings, the child won’t either. Some of the mindset you could be faced with is, “If you don’t do it, why should I?” In a sense, he or she is right. How can you teach something that you don’t practice yourself? Taking pride in your own accomplishments and surroundings could help you solidify your case to your children.
2. Explanation – As adults, many have this belief that they don’t need to explain their actions to children. While this may be the case in a variety of situations, explaining to your children why it’s important to take pride in their accomplishments can go a long way to helping you get your message across. Using phrases like, “Clean your room because I said so” doesn’t explain why it’s important to keep the room clean. You don’t need to be brutally honest in order to encourage a specific behavior, however.
3. Rewards – Rewarding a child with a gift because he or she cleaned their room may not have the outcome you wish. By rewarding a child to practice specific behaviors, you could inadvertently assist in developing one who feels more entitled due to their efforts. This isn’t the same thing as pride. People who accomplish a task and feel proud of the development normally are not looking for recognition. Being proud of the accomplishment and knowing that he or she did their best to make it so is its own reward.
4. Involve Yourself – When encouraging a child to take pride in themselves and his or her surroundings, you don’t need to enforce your rules on the situation. Talk to the child when performing a task and help them discover the feeling one can get from accomplishment. The behavior could be habit forming for the whole family.
Encouraging an eight-year-old to take pride in themselves and their surroundings doesn’t mean you force specific rules on them. The actions need to be more related to demonstrations rather than rules. In a situation like the bedroom, you can demonstrate how much more room there is to play and find specific toys if the room isn’t cluttered. You could get a far better reaction out of your child than simply saying, “because I said so.”
Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of http://www.nannypro.com/. Learn more about her http://www.nannypro.com/blog/sara-dawkins/.