14 strategies parents need to know
6. Give Encouragement Freely
Use encouragement to help children develop a sense of belonging, security, love and acceptance. They misbehave because they don't feel this belonging. Celebrate each step in the direction of improvement (rather than focusing on mistakes). Give positive feedback at every opportunity. Communication is important. Don't assume the child knows you love and care about him or that you are pleased when he does something right. You need to express these feelings.
A Story from Kavita: Priya was working hard one night studying for her exams. Actually, she had been working hard every day and night for the last year and she was completely exhausted. It seemed as though her mind couldn't retain one more word! At the age of seventeen she knew that her parents loved her—well, at least until the exam, she thought to herself. Mom and Dad wanted her to be in the top ten in her class, so she would get into the best university. They told her it was for her own good, for her future, but the pressure of it all made her feel that she would lose everything if she didn't come out with the perfect score. If she didn't, would her parents still beam when they looked at her? Probably not. She had to earn their love or she would lose it, she said again to herself as she re-opened her English book.
Hours later she was awakened with a soft touch. She found herself face down on her book. She must have fallen asleep. Confused, she looked up to see both her parents standing by her side. Her father gathered her into his arms as if she were five again and sat on her bed, her mother following. She felt so safe, and in gentle voices her parents reassured her that they would always be her refuge. She was trying her best, and no matter what the outcome of the exam, they would support and help her. Tears rolled down Priya's eyes and she felt more determined than ever, feeling a new strength surging through her. Even young adults need encouragement to face life's challenges.
Basanti had the habit of putting her school work off until the last minute. One day her parents took her out for a milkshake, and had her look around at the people and consider their many walks of life. They explained that, through her schooling, she has the power to open many doors for her future. Since then, with the strong support of her family, she spends long hours studying—knowing that failure is okay, but not trying is unacceptable.