Sharp Advice: Childhood Success and Failure - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/18/07

Sharp Advice: Childhood Success and Failure

Part of being a coach is helping kids enjoy their successes and learn from their failures. But I've also seen a lot of parents confuse that lesson by sending mixed messages to their kids. For one, parents need to set a good example to help children learn how to win humbly and lose gracefully.

Dr. Paul Douthit, in Pediatric Department at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, says parents want to protect their children from a loss and often do whatever they can to help them succeed but, losing leaves kids with some valuable lessons. Instead, he says if you shower a child with too much praise, the praise loses its value and the child can actually become less self-confident because they don't feel the praise is genuine.

"If you're really excited about what your child did, that's good. But if it's something you're trying to put on to make your child feel better or not as bad that's when you run into problems. I think what we have to do as adults is teach children to appreciate that there are consequences from any endeavor that we are involved in so if we try to soften the blow to a point where it's not going to hurt a child, we may unintentionally hurt a child," says Dr. Douthit.

Dr. Douthit says when a parent paves the road to success for a child that child may end up with unrealistic expectations. Instead, parents need to help kids reflect on what they did and learn from both situations.

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