A reminder that praise and encouragement are fundamental to shaping self esteem

Authenticme By Authenticme, 5th Oct 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1x5gk-9j/
Posted in Wikinut>Humour>Funny Stories

There are some pathetic excuses around for care givers. Make sure you're not one of them and remember to praise and encourage!

The Importance of Encouragement

Whilst in the library the other day, a young girl was singing and dancing gracefully along one of the benches, entertaining her younger brother. ''Oo, do you do acting?'' I asked her gleefully, finding her thoroughly entertaining and wanting to encourage her. ''Yes'' she replied, quite confidently. Then her mother piped up, ''I tell you who I like.'' I acknowledged her, expecting her to reference someone ''off the telly''. ''Not HER, her older sister, she really shines when she's on stage, she has a real gift''. Quite taken aback by this mother's blatant disregard for her younger daughter, I looked straight at the child and said 'Well, I think YOU are really good''. And with that I left the library, honestly..

The moral of the story? Always encourage - whether you're a parent, teacher or anyone with someone's self esteem in your hand. Self worth is a fragile thing, do not abuse your power.

In terms of teaching there are two schools of leadership that I've observed. My own teaching mentor believed in scaring the children senseless, and was nothing short of a bully. I remember watching one of her lessons, and seeing her humiliate an unsuspecting, red faced year 7 girl for either not listening, or asking a question when the teacher had already explained. She SCREAMED at her, really laid into her, and I just felt sick. I really hope this teacher isn't practising any more, she wielded her power like the Sea Witch in The Little Mermaid. I remember part of her philosophy was to 'make an example of students', to show the rest of the class what you were made of. And also to 'lose it' with the class every once in a while, for the same reason. Looking back it was as if she was training us from the manual of 'How to be a Rubbish Teacher for Dummies'. Thankfully I didn't heed her advice, and the head of department made up for her incompetence. My point is teachers have the power to make or break a student's confidence, and to crush their dreams.

Parents too. What is it about a phone that's more interesting than a child? You see this everywhere nowadays: I don't have children yet but if I did, I sure as hell wouldn't be constantly playing on my phone when they were looking to me for encouragement and attention. Surely there is one chance to enjoy your son or daughter's childhood, only one, and as a parent you are shaping that child daily. Children learn by example, so surely ignoring your child is teaching him or her to ignore others. Plus teaching them that they don't have anything important to say. A parent can shape not only a child's character, but their relationships with others including their choice of partner.

Having been a teacher, a student and of course a child I could write a book on the amount of bad practise I've seen - calling it what it is. I don't profess to being perfect, but I personally am a firm believer in praise, encouragement and constructive feedback. How else can a person grow, improve and thrive? There are times we're taught to toughen up, but also sometimes it's a case of calling a spade a spade and making people accountable. The fact is what goes around comes around, I've seen it, and it's a universal law. I really hope that young girl in the library gets her talents and passions nurtured, and gets a chance in life. Parents and teachers, childrens' futures are in your hands


Encouragement, Encouraging, Parents, Praise, Teachers, Teaching

Meet the author

author avatar Authenticme
I'm an actor, musician, teacher and life coach. I will be publishing articles related to those topics, as well as common interest topics

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar Connie McKinney
5th Oct 2013 (#)

Great advice, Authenticme. Thanks for sharing. I couldn't agree more; there is way too much criticism and meanness in our world today. We need to praise and encourage everyone around us.

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?