The 10 Things You Should Never Tell Your Kids When They're Struggling with Practice
Updated: Aug 17
(read this, even if you don't have kids!)
As parents, our role extends beyond providing food and shelter; we are also instrumental in nurturing our children's self-esteem, motivation, and overall growth. While it's natural to want to support and encourage them through challenges, the words we choose can have a profound impact on their mindset and development. In this blog post, we'll explore two sides of the coin—negative remarks and seemingly positive yet harmful comments—that we should avoid when our kids are struggling with practice. We'll also provide constructive alternatives that pave the way for a healthier and more positive learning environment.
1. Harmful: "You're just not cut out for this."
Helpful: "Every skill takes time to master. Keep practicing, and you'll improve."
2. Harmful: "Why can't you do it like [someone else]?"
Helpful: "You have your unique strengths. Let's work on improving at your own pace."
3. Harmful: "You're not trying hard enough."
Helpful: "I can see you're putting in effort. Let's find strategies to make it easier."
4. Harmful: "You're embarrassing yourself."
Helpful: "Mistakes are part of learning. Let's figure out what went wrong and how to fix it."
5. Harmful: "You'll never get any better."
Helpful: "Progress might be slow, but you're making strides. Keep up the good work."
Seemingly Positive Yet Harmful Comments:
6. Harmful: "You're so talented, you should find this easy!"
Helpful: "Even the most talented individuals face challenges. Your effort will lead to progress."
7. Harmful: "You're the best at this; why are you struggling?"
Helpful: "Struggles are part of everyone's journey. Let's work through this together."
8. Harmful: "You're smarter than this; figure it out."
Helpful: "Problem-solving takes time. Let's break it down step by step."
9. Harmful: "You're a perfectionist; this should be perfect."
Helpful: "Perfection isn't the goal. Let's focus on progress and learning."
10. Harmful: "You have to excel at everything; keep pushing."
Helpful: "It's okay to struggle. Let's embrace challenges as opportunities."
When our children are facing challenges, our words can either be a powerful source of encouragement or a deterrent to their growth. Instead of using negative language that demotivates and discourages, or seemingly positive phrases that create unrealistic expectations, let's choose constructive language that emphasizes the importance of effort, progress, and learning from mistakes. By fostering a positive attitude towards challenges, we empower our kids to approach difficulties with resilience and a growth-oriented mindset, setting them on a path towards lifelong learning and personal development.
PS: You don't have kids, you say? No problem. Use the information above and apply it to yourself when you're practicing! Be supportive, not harmful. Remember, that voice in your head saying mean things to you only needs some love. ;)