Is It Good To Celebrate a Child's Accomplishments

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Is It Good To Celebrate a Child's Accomplishments

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Parents like to reward kids for good behaviors when they do things well. And I think there is something to this. The special lunch after an achievement or taking them to a show or something like this. I think that´s good as a kind of surprise so they are not doing it just for the reward. But it is really important to understand the reward is time with us. That is the real reward. And taking them to a dinner, taking them to get a mani pedi or something. It is all about being with them and the questions we ask. And it should be more than: Isn´t it great that you did this? Isn´t it great that you won the game? Isn´t it great that you got the As? It is: How did you do this? Help me understand this. What was it about? What was the toughest part? So what we are doing is it is almost like they are resilient inside but they don´t understand that resilience is made up of all these different strands that bind together into a strong rope. And what we are doing is having them examine each strand so that they really understand it. It was not just I really wanted it to do it. It was I really wanted to do it and I practiced. And I practiced when other people did not want to and I listened to the coach. And I tried things that I did not know how to do and learned eventually how to do that. So that they all wrap together into a much stronger rope. A much stronger rope of resiliency. And we do that through the conversation we have with them and when we do these celebrations, if it is about that conversation and letting them bask in what it really feels like to work hard and to feel proud of themselves, then they are great celebrations. If it is just one where it is kind of mindless and there is nothing about the relationship, there is no reflection into it, then it is nice but it is a missed opportunity because when we do as part of the relationship, we are holding up a really beautiful mirror that they look at the best parts of themselves in, which in turn helps them to get more motivated and to get more resilience.

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Michael Riera, PhD

Head Of School, Brentwood School

Michael Riera, PhD, Educator, Author, Media Personality, and Speaker. Michael Riera is the Head of School at the Brentwood School, best-selling author, award-winning columnist, educator, television commentator, and national speaker on issues of children, adolescents, families, and parenting. Mike is the author of Right From Wrong: instilling a Sense of integrity in Our Children, Field Guide to the American Teenager, Uncommon Sense For Parents With Teenagers, and Surviving High School. His most recent book, Staying Connected To Your Teenager, was launched with three appearances on Oprah! For eight years he was the Family Consultant for CBS The Saturday Morning Early Show and also hosted an award winning television show on the Oxygen Network, Life in Progress, as well as his own daily radio show, Family Talk with Dr. Mike. Mike has worked in schools for over 20 years as a head of school, counselor, dean of students, teacher and consultant. 

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