The tools of encouragement
The eminent psychiatrist Rudolf Dreikurs claimed: “The most important skill for raising a child in a democracy is the ability to encourage that child” (1971). Dreikurs considered encouragement to be the single most important quality in getting along with others — so important that the lack of it could be considered the basic influence for misbehavior. Dinkmeyer and Losoncy (1996) concurred that encouragement is the key ingredient in all positive professional and personal relationships.
If encouragement is indeed the most vital aspect of a child’s social development, very few educators, counselors, and parents fully realize this fact. Encouragement is desperately needed today. Children and teachers need encouragement like plants need water. Learning the tools of encouragement is fundamental to improving relationships and creating cooperation in the home and in schools.
What is encouragement?
Encouragement is positive feedback that focuses primarily on effort or improvement rather than outcomes. Encouragement is recognizing, accepting, and conveying faith in a child for the mere fact that he or she exists. The child does not have to be “the best” to be a full-fledged human being. With encouragement, a child feels worthwhile and appreciated regardless of the results he or she achieves. Encouragement separates the deeds from the doer so there is no such thing as “good” or “bad” children. Encouragement assumes that children are intrinsically motivated and will cooperate and learn for the satisfaction that comes from it. READ MORE