When children are little, parents tend to make the most of their kids’ achievements, often in an exaggerated way. They praise their first smile, their first steps and their first words. Even though it might seem strange, as children get older parents provide less positive reinforcement and instead place greater emphasis on correcting their children’s behaviour when they do something badly. This is called "educating".
This means that at the end of an average day a child may have performed a host of actions to the best of their ability but not received any praise for doing so. Instead, they did one thing badly and were corrected in a ‘spirited’ fashion. What does this parent's attitude convey to their child? Does it encourage them to be creative? In order to cultivate creativity in children, kids need to experiment lots. This goes hand in hand with making mistakes. Focusing on negative aspects will not motivate a child to try and do something new they don’t know how to do yet, but it will limit their chances of success. This kind of attitude only encourages them to conform to what they already know, to be one of the herd, and to not try to do anything new.
We have the power to encourage our children to be creative, imaginative, daring, motivated, emotionally intelligent and balanced. Just maybe, the key can be found in two words: well done!
Natàlia Perarnau, founder and creator of the Kids&Us method