It is important for parents to encourage their child to do their best in school and extracurricular activities, but too much pressure can lead to unnecessary stress on the child. Here are tips on how to give positive reinforcement and appropriate discipline to your child without overwhelming them.
Never Compare Your Children
Never say something like “Your sister got straight A’s in school, why can’t you be more like her?”. It creates unnecessary sibling rivalry, and makes the child feel like they have to live up to certain standards to be accepted by you.
Do Not Force Extra Activities onto Your Child
Before signing your child up to play any type of sport or extra activity, talk to them about it. Give them all the details, pros and cons, and then allow them to make the decision. A lot of parents will think “I loved basketball when I was his age, so he will too”. But if your child feels like they have to be good at something and enjoy it just to make you happy, then they most likely will not enjoy it.
Punish Your Child Appropriately
If your child brings home a report card with all A’s except for an F in Math, then chances are he is not slacking off in school he is just struggling in that subject. Do not yell at him for it, talk to him about how to improve it for next time. Offer to spend some extra time working with him on his homework, or get him a tutor. Make sure you have rules on homework such as “You cannot watch TV until all of your homework is completed.”
Praise Your Child Appropriately
Many parents do not realize that there is also a negative way to praise their child. If every time your child makes a good grade you say “You are so smart, I am so glad that I never have to worry about you doing badly in school” Then your child may begin to feel like they have to remain perfect. Make sure to let them know that you love that they are working hard, but also make sure they know they do not have to be perfect.
Overall, it is just important to make sure your child knows they are loved and that you are always going to be proud of them.