Are you one of those parents who believes in being your child's biggest cheerleader no matter how awful they perform at any given task? Do you say they're the best when it's clear they're far from it, and encourage them to pursue their passions no matter how plainly pointless they may be?
Jimmy Kimmel recently did a spot in which he took a look at American Idol parents who comfort their children after they don't get a ticket to Hollywood. They tell their kids they're great, the judges don't know what they're talking about, and that they will be an American idol of some sort someday, even though it's more than clear they just flat-out suck. "Have they ever heard their child sing?" Kimmel asks.
Take a look at how he says he'd like to see parents react "just once":
Hilarious, especially because it's true -- both on the show and in the day-to-day interactions you see between parents and their children.
It's a hard line to walk sometimes, I think. On one hand, we want to bolster and build our children's self confidence and instill in them the belief that they can do anything. At the same time, not everyone has the talent to do everything, so when do you step in and perhaps redirect their interests?
I'm more Tiger Mom than most when it comes to things like this, but I still have a heart. I won't gush over my children's performance when it's less than stellar, but if they try hard and put effort into something, I will gush over that. I believe praising children for something not praise-worthy actually does more damage than good to their self esteem in the long run.
I will always encourage them, and if they truly had a passion for something, I'd never tell them they shouldn't pursue it just because they weren't good at it. I would, however, tell them they were going to have to work extra hard at it and find ways to help them do so. In this case, perhaps with a gift of singing lessons.
Do you give your children unconditional praise?
Image via YouTube