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  • Writer's picturePrudence Low

Are you Over-rewarding your Child?

Over-rewarding, over-praising and over-doing things for our children can have quite a lot of repercussions. We live in a world where we are constantly wishing we have enough time for our loved ones and that could sometimes transpire into over-giving and over-doing things for our children because that seems to be a legitimate and accessible way of showing love to them.

But is it good for our children in the long run? Are we, in fact, breeding a generation of young people who can't find validation unless they are constantly praised? Could the alternative be helping them gain competency and for them to find their own intrinsic motivation?

So many of us are over-doing things for our loved ones. Are we, in fact, depriving them of opportunities to learn how to achieve little goals in everyday lives? These little goals may not be so little when they have cumulative values.

Over-rewarding - We know too well of this. Research shows that when the brain is primed to receive a reward for a task well done, or completed, we are in fact training the individual to see the actual task itself as less attractive. That's certainly not a result we want if we wish to build intrinsic motivation.

The solution, it seems, would still be giving all these "good things" in moderation. An early intervention with a good balance of being present, being relevant and supportive in your child's life, and giving constructive feedback without whitewashing mistakes. Training kids to love giving more than receiving - I take my hats off to parents who have done that. Teaching them to be grateful for every small thing, no matter how small they are, seems to me a possible antidote to depression.

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