Welcome to Term Three.
This term we will be looking at Michael Grose’s Big 5 parenting tips that he shared whilst on a safari trip to Africa when touring to see the Big Five animals! His driver stated: “I’ve shown you the Big Five wild animals. Now you tell me the BIG Five Things I should become good at to be a good Papa.”
Today we look at Tip Number One.
BIG FIVE Parenting Skill #1: Encouraging kids to be brave
Lions are queens & kings of the jungle because they are at the top of the food chain. They have no predators (apart from man) so they lie around seemingly with immunity. I’ve always considered encouragement as the king of parenting skills, for the simple reason that if you can be a real encourager then everything else tends to fall into place.
Encouraged kids are less likely to misbehave. Kids who experience real encouragement are more likely to take (sensible) risks as learners and make the most of the opportunities open to them. They are also less susceptible to peer pressure as parents who understand how encouragement works are less likely to make kids reliant on them for approval.
Encouragement derives from the French term meaning ‘to give heart’, which pretty much describes what true encouragement is about!
All parents want their kids to develop a strong sense of self-confidence. Many parents use praise as their primary confidence-building technique, but encouragement is a much better strategy to boost kids’ confidence.
Encouragement is a more powerful confidence-building tool than praise and it doesn’t have the adverse side effects of demotivating kids or promoting sibling rivalry. The differences between the two are slim but important. Encouragement focuses on the processes of what a child does whereas praise focuses on the end result of his or her activities.
Here are five ways to encourage your child:
- Focus on improvement in any skill: “You really have picked up on your reading.” You can always point out improvement no matter how small.
- Highlight their efforts “I can see you really tried hard to get it right.” Make sure you highlight real effort, and don’t elevate lack of effort to anything more than what it is.
- Comment on their contribution: “I really appreciate your help with cleaning the house. It makes my job easier.” Kids like to know when they’re appreciated.
- Focus on enjoyment they get from an activity: “It’s great to see you enjoying your jazz ballet.” Highlighting fun and enjoyment is great when you want to remove the focus from the scoreboard.
- Show your confidence: “I know you can do this. You’ve tackled hard stuff like this in the past, and you can do it again.” Communicate your confidence through your words, as well as your actions.
How many of these encouragement statements do you regularly use? If you aren’t a natural encourager then pick one of these statement types and challenge yourself to use it at least five times a day for a week. If you do this encouragement will become automatic in no time. Go on, you can do it!
Term Three wellbeing theme
As we begin a busy Term Three where some students have had to adjust to new classrooms, limited spaces and work areas due to renovations, we thought this Wellbeing Theme would be very appropriate during this time.
‘Be like flexible Flynn – Be a flexible thinker!’
Students are having to learn to be a little more flexible in their thinking when times may get a little overwhelming and lots of adjustments need to be made.
These are great learning opportunities for everyone, (even us adults) when we have to change our mindsets and become flexible in our thinking.
Being a flexible thinker opens us up to so many different opportunities, and it helps us to learn and grow as a person.
Being a flexible thinker allows us to look at a problem from different perspectives and think of multiple ways to solve the issue. Being a flexible thinker also helps us to stay positive and have a good growth mindset. Instead of getting upset and frustrated by problems, you can logically think about the different solutions there may be.
You may wish to discuss with your child what this means for them, how they are feeling about all the changes and how they are trying to adapt to these changes.