Should We Stop Praising Our Children?

14/08/2014 17:01 | Updated 20 May 2015

Should we stop praising our children when they do well?

Parents should stop putting their children first if they want them to grow up to be 'better human beings' - according to a celebrity 'lifestyle guru'.

Olga Levancuka - known to her fans as the 'Skinny Rich Coach' - caused a stir when her book, How To Be Selfish (And Other Uncomfortable Advice) was published.

Now she has turned her attention to parents and says to do our kids a favour we need to put ourselves first - and stop praising them.

Writing in the Mail, Olga said: "It's a well-known fact, the more attention, care and love we give to our children, the better parents we are and, in turn, the better human beings our children will grow up to be. But it just isn't true.

"The more you give in, the less respect you'll receive from your children and the more things and stuff they'll expect to get away with."

She added: "Perhaps it's time you learned how to be selfish to protect your sanity, your health and to ensure your long lasting support and presence in your child's life."

She suggests we should take a leaf out of our children's books because they have a lot to teach us in the ways of self-centredness.

Olga said: "Kids are excellent psychologists and are great at getting other people to do their tasks for them. Do the same.

"Get your kids to do stuff for you. You are not their servant, nor the doormat. The earlier you stop behaving like one, the earlier they'll grow to respect you.

"It's even better if you can find some tasks to do together, although don't forget to throw in some fun and enjoyable activities too."

Turning her focus to reasoning with our kids, Olga says forget it.

She said: "There's dealing with the inevitable tantrums and endless arguments about Junior's desire to do something other than homework or chores.

"The longer you take to explain yourself, the shorter time you have left for doing your chores and that much needed and important 'you' time.

"Say what you need to say (two sentences max) and get on with your and your child's life. Your children will hear what you said (even adults only remember the first and the last statements) and you will be heard. Which at times is so important to overworked mothers."

And she says never, ever over-praise your kids. She said: "There is a constant battle between teachers and kids that is directed at getting the results. The results that school first of all seek.

"The priority is clearly on success and some kids are getting all worked up trying to please adults without even understanding why something is good and why something is bad.

"Think for yourself. If a child, after a long struggle, finally solves her math tasks, does she really need to be told that she has done well?

"Doesn't she know, without being told, that she has accomplished something? Don't waste your time over-praising.

"Don't call your kid 'good girl'. Let children get on with their own discoveries, while you get on with your life. Don't we have enough 'failures' from trying to please our parents?

"To make what you want crystal clear, say it once and then get on and do it. Believe me, it's easier when kids know where they stand with you."

Finally, she added: "Stop sacrificing your happiness for your child's satisfaction. Such 'Samaritan' acts are a double-edged sword in disguise.

"Today the child is happy, tomorrow they ask for more. You want to see your child smiling, you now need to bend yourself more. Who wins?

"In the long run, it won't be you or the child. You will pay with your mental and physical health, the child later will pay another significant price.

"Kids know when they make you suffer. They regret it and they start blaming themselves. Slowly they resent themselves, and then ... surprise, surprise, you, for letting them make you suffer.

"Instead, stop accepting the pressure from your children - or indeed, the other parents who feel the need to impose their methods on you.

"Choose your own way in parenting, and in your personal life. The child will follow your example eventually and you'll be rewarded twice over.

"You'll get to keep your life (well, most if it!); and your child will grow up with a better understanding of an individual space, needs and responsibilities."

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