The Ministry of Education’s new parenting Instagram page recently shared an idea which we thought was useful advice for parents. It was about how to serve your child an “Encouragement Sandwich”.
When Things Aren’t Going the Way We Want Them To
As parents, we are naturally concerned about our children’s progress – whether it be in school or in extra curricular activities.
As we track of their progress, we may come across areas for improvement.
It is normal to want to guide our children along, giving them advice on how to improve, highlighting ways to do better the next time around. However, sometimes, out of frustration or disappointed, we may end up lashing out at them for the outcomes they have achieved (or more likely failed to achieve).
The Encouragement Sandwich
One useful tip to remember when it comes to guiding our children along is the Encouragement Sandwich.
Simply focusing on where things have gone wrong, for example scoring bad grades on a school test, can have a demotivating effect on a child. It can discouraged them from wanting to try again. Instead, we need to find a way to encourage them to do better the next time around.
The Encouragement Sandwich is an alternative approach to having a conversation with a child.
First, start off by discussing with them what they have done well. It could be a section of the test paper or that they simply remembered to put in revision time before the test. Be sure to celebrate small wins and find opportunities for positive reinforcement.
Next, ask them what they think could have done better. This encourages self-reflection and develops a child’s ability to learn lessons from a situation. A child is more likely to be receptive of any learning points that he or she comes up.
Lastly, end off the talk by acknowledging his or her efforts and encouraging him or her to keep on persevering. As there will always be setbacks in life, it is important to encourage children to adopt the right mindset, pick themselves up when things don’t go their way and keep moving forward.
Together, these three steps make up the Encouragement Sandwich. Give it a try the next time you find yourself having a conversation with your child about something which didn’t turn out the way you had hoped for.
Let’s support our kids as they grow through different experiences. Parenting is not an easy journey, but it is a fulfilling one.