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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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How important is encouragement to a kid? For example, lets

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How important is encouragement to a kid? For example, let's say that a kid tells his parents that he wants to be a doctor when he grows up, and his parents just acknowledge what he said like with an expression that is kind of like saying "O.K. whatever." And then for the kid to repeat again that he wants to be a doctor when he grows up and his father responds "Yes, I know. You told me." And then whenever the kid visits grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends of his parents, etc., he tells them too, and his parents after that always instruct him before every visit "Don't be talking about wanting to be a doctor when you grow up." And then when the kid finally tells his parents "You never encourage me," The parents respond "If you want to be a doctor, you just go out there and do it. You don't need me to encourage you. And if you want to be a doctor, you keep it to yourself in your mind, but don't be telling others about it." Can this discourage a kid? Thank you for your assistance.
Hello and Thank You for consulting Just Answer. Is the child you are referring to receiving mixed messages about future aspirations? How old is the child? Thank you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
At 16, his father got angry for doing poorly in his studies. By 17, he improved on his studies and got his grades up and that's when the discouragement began thru age 19 in college. So, yes, I believe those are mixed messages.
Parents should always encourage their children in a positive manner. Parents should want their children to have goals, dreams, and desires so that they can remain on a successful path in life. Discouraging words may cause the child to feel like...if my parent does not care, then why should I care. Then the child may start hanging around with the wrong crowd and becoming involved in negative behaviors. If a child has dreams, a parent should do all possible to encourage the child to "go for it". Negative words may emotionally scar the child in the long run.
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