Do you often call your child lazy? Or do you tell him he’s a born cricketer? Does her teacher say she’s a troublemaker? Labelling is easy, but how does it affect a child. Read on to know more.
By Susan Philip
“Oh, she’s hopeless in maths. I’d be happy if she just manages to pass in the subject.” said Rohini’s mother.
For long, Rohini had been hearing her mother say the same thing. So, while she performed well in other subjects, when it came to maths, Rohini seemed convinced that she just couldn’t handle the subject.
Rohini’s case is an example of how labelling can adversely affect a child. Yet, it is a habit that parents just can’t seem to give up. Irrespective of whether labels are positive or negative, they are detrimental to a child’s emotional health. Let’s look at some of the ways labelling negatively affects a child.
Children change as they grow up. And, during this growing and changing phase, there will be times when children will behave in a disobedient, loud, cheeky or domineering way. So, try to consciously prevent yourself from highlighting any of these phases as the defining quality of your child. If your child is good at something, praise his efforts but refrain from tagging him. For example, if he draws well and comes up with a good painting, admire what he has done, but don’t rush to tag him as an ‘artist’. Similarly, if he does something that disappoints you, try to show him the right way instead of criticising and labelling him a good-for-nothing.
As parents, we owe it to our children to not label them in any way, as labels, both positive and negative, do more harm than good. Therefore, as parents, let’s get over our fixation with labelling our children and give them a chance to develop their character and abilities.
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