Sincerity, not perfection in children's education

By Lavinia Dragne, Recruitment and HR projects, Mentor in SIM’s Community

There are many ways to raise a child. Every parent makes their mark on how to raise their own child, so it is natural to ask the question: What kind of role models are we as parents?

Specialists emphasize that, in the early years, the child sees the world through parental manifestations, and he learns everything by imitation, learning by looking at or observing others. That is why children need emotional sincerity from their parents, not perfection.

It is true that the little ones always notice when we are angry, happy, frustrated, or satisfied, as well as the way we express all these feelings in front of them and others. That is why it is good that we become more present and more aware of who we are and what we can transmit around us, at least around them.

Here are some techniques by which you can be a model of honesty for your child:

Answer him as honestly as possible. When your child asks you a question, answer it honestly and as appropriately as possible for the child's age. Children read your condition very well and feel confused if they feel that you are not honest.

Come up with examples from your childhood. Kids love to learn about your experience and how you felt when you were little. Through the stories you tell, they will better understand who you are and that their situation is normal, even if they are scared, happy, or upset.

Read them stories that cover the whole range of emotions and a happy ending and an unhappy ending. The child's exposure to the ups and downs of the characters' lives encourages empathy and resilience and feelings of importance and gratitude for their own lives.

Praise the child's action. Praise should be focused on the processes or efforts that children make. Avoid saying, "You're very smart!" By focusing more on the effort involved, you will give your child the tools he needs to understand that perseverance matters the most. In the long run, you will develop stronger self-esteem.

Do not use praise as an implicit answer. Please don't overdo it with praise for things that are very easy. The child risks learning that he deserves praise only when he completes a task quickly, easily, and perfectly, which does not help him accept challenges.

Emphasize the unique and authentic perspective for you and your child. Add the words "for me" after a sentence to emphasize that your experience in a specific situation is not necessarily the same as your child's. For example, instead of saying, "This water is too cold," say, "This water is too cold for me." This respect for individual experience builds trust and helps children to recognize and respect their own experiences. 

(article first published in https://www.tonica.ro/sinceritate-nu-perfectiune-in-educatia-copiilor/)