Positive parenting: Impact of feedback on child's mental health and well-being - Hindustan Times
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Positive parenting: Impact of feedback on child's mental health and well-being

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
May 17, 2024 04:23 PM IST

In positive parenting, the focus is on using feedback to nurture a child's self-esteem, build resilience and promote their mental well-being. Experts share tips

The words we use to guide our children have a powerful impact on their mental health hence, in positive parenting, the focus is on using feedback to nurture a child's self-esteem, build resilience and promote their mental well-being. What we say to children by way of words or non-verbal cues is formative in the development of their self-image and self-esteem and it becomes the basis of their inner self-talk that they inherit as adults as well.

Positive parenting: Impact of feedback on child's mental health and well-being (Image by Freepik)
Positive parenting: Impact of feedback on child's mental health and well-being (Image by Freepik)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Mansi Poddar, Trauma informed Psychotherapist, shared, "When feedback highlights effort and progress, it validates a child's attempts and celebrates their growth. This builds confidence and a positive self-image. Instead of saying "good job," be specific: “I liked how you used different colors in your drawing.”

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Asserting that positive feedback brings true joy in learning and accomplishment, Mansi Poddar revealed, “This nurtures a love for learning and self-motivation. Emphasize the hard work a child puts in: “I see you practiced your piano piece, it sounds great!” Children learn to identify and manage their emotions when parents provide feedback that acknowledges their feelings. This cultivates emotional intelligence. Focus on how their behavior affects you: “I feel happy when you share your toys.””

She added, “When we celebrate effort after challenges, it helps to increase resilience in a kid. A simple response like, “I know that test was hard, but you kept trying!”, can make a big difference. Here children learn that mistakes are stepping stones, not setbacks. This builds grit and the ability to bounce back from setbacks.”

Bringing her expertise to the same, Sandy Dias Andrade, Psychotherapist, Founder-Director of Just Being Center for Mindfulness and Presence, highlighted, “Mindful relating can be the nourishing soil for the development of children. When we are harsh, critical, impatient their self-talk translates as `I'm not ok' or `I'm not perfect' and in order to be accepted and loved I have to be a particular way or `I'm not good enough'.”

She concluded, “When we are encouraging, comforting, genuinely see their efforts, their qualities, that are not just reflected in our words but they also see it in our eyes, through our touch and in how we relate to them, in some way it validates who they are at a deeper level of being. They feel seen for who they are. This builds a natural comfort and confidence in themselves and in being with others and in the world, just as they are. We act as mirrors to their own inner spirit.”

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