Mum of three Tova Leigh has spoken out about the dangers of overly praising your kids for being talented at things they’re not skilled in.
In a video posted to her Facebook page, Tova’s Blog, she starts by saying that she’s sick and tired of parents, including herself, telling their children that they’re talented when they’re not.
The video, which is titled Being Honest With Our Kids, has been viewed 93k times.
‘I am so done with telling my kids they are great and super talented at doing stuff they are actually crap at,’ she says.
‘Like tidying their room – I don’t know one kid on the face of this planet who’s actually good at tidying their room,’ Tova continues.
‘We say, ‘Oh wow, you did such a great job!’ when all they did was pick up one piece of Lego and put it in the laundry basket.’
‘If you say that to your five-year-old son, then one day he’ll become a man and will be asked by his wife to tidy up, and he’ll take his dirty coffee mug and put it next to the sink, or throw his dirty underwear next to the laundry basket.’
‘That’s on you! Because you made him believe that that’s good tidying up!’
Tova then goes on to explain how praising your kids for ‘trying their best’ when they clearly haven’t tried at all sets them up for the worse in the long run.
She gives the example of when a child is making a lot of fuss and acting as if they’re straining to put their socks on, and they’re praised for doing their best.
‘If they were actually doing their best, they’d have their socks on. It can actually kind of bum them out, because what you’re saying is: ‘I think this was your best, and this is shit.’
Tova also complains about telling your children they have talent in subjects they’re not really showing any talent in, using her 12-year-old son’s art project as an example.
‘If they’re 12 years old and this is what they’re doing in art class, then don’t tell them they’re so artistic. It was rubbish. He’s not going to be an artist.’
She also had words for parents who think their children are geniuses.
‘Geniuses are 1% of the population. Which means, it’s most likely that my kids aren’t geniuses, your kids aren’t geniuses… in fact, most of the people’s kids you know aren’t geniuses.
‘So next time, when you’re thinking about telling your kid that they’re awesome and talented and amazing at something that they’re actually quite average at, choose your words.’
The video has received over 1000 likes, and a load of comments that either support Tova or criticise her.
‘Right? Nowadays kids get participation trophies… Lol. Before we learned that if you didn’t do well, you didn’t win. You tried harder next time.’ wrote one user.
‘So true! I refuse to overly praise my daughter for basic tasks or less than average effort. And then I sound like bad mummy.’
‘Hahahha I think this explains my husband.’
Others weren’t so quick to agree with Tova.
‘Nope, I tell my daughter she’s a genius and good at everything. Because she is. Idc if she scribbled on a paper at two, I acted excited and now she can draw because she never felt like giving up.’
‘If you’re not supportive of them at least trying then they won’t want to do it.’
‘So what you want your kid growing up believing he isn’t special or amazing at anything?! That’s a rough life.’
Do you agree with Tova, or disagree? Let us know in the comments below!