Good Parenting: Effective Encouragement

Everybody wants to be a good parent and make sure that their children will develop skills they will need later in life as well as get the best experiences and opportunities. As parents, we seem to know what is best for our children and wish to steer them in that direction. However, we need to find the balance between motivating our children and pushing them too hard.

Parents’ Unfulfilled Dreams

How we parent can be influenced by our childhood and our experience. We want our children to learn from our mistakes and we encourage them to do something we used to love as children, but we should remember that children are unique individuals and that they are different from their parents.

Back in 2013, research showed that in fact parents try to realize their own unfulfilled dreams through their children. The study found that parents seek satisfaction in their children’s achievements to help them to heal past grievances. However, trying to live out your childhood dreams can neglect your child’s uniqueness and needs and can be detrimental for both you and your kid. 

Pushing Too Hard

On the one hand, if you encourage a youngster to engage in sports, auditions for a play or make new friends, it will help them to be more resilient and adaptable and have a wider outlook.  On the other hand, if pushed too hard, they may withdraw, dislike or fear new experiences. For example, sports bring many benefits to children, but forcing them to play can have negative effects on their emotional development, and it can also sour the parent-child relationship.

If you push too much and are unable to communicate effectively with your child, it is possible that they will become emotionally dependent on other people, for example their peers, who, unlike you, will not think about your child’s best interests.


When encouraging extracurricular activities for your child, consider their personality, interests, and abilities. Let your child choose something that interests them and then give it a try. If it works out, fine. If it doesn’t, change activities and start again. 

It is a good idea though to pay special attention if your kid suddenly starts to dislike something they used to enjoy, the reason for this can be bullying or other traumatic experience.

Growing Independent

Children show independence in many ways throughout their lives. All of them go through the process of individualization – separating from their parents and creating their own identity. Parents who are unwilling or unable to encourage their children’s independence and to pursue their dreams may hinder their child’s intellectual and emotional development. This could lead to a child feeling insecure and unable to make decisions on their own without parental guidance.

Your child will face many obstacles as they grow, but teach them that overcoming difficulties builds self-esteem and confidence. The Kids Academy website has a lot of resources that will help parents to boost their children’s self-assurance and make them successful.