Teaching Your Child Pride
We celebrate Independence Day every year because we feel proud to be Americans. It presents us with a perfect opportunity to focus on pride, our featured Character Education trait for July.
“We feel proud when we achieve a goal or receive recognition for a job well done,” says Richard Peterson, Kiddie Academy’s Vice President of Education. “When we work hard to reach our goals, it generates feelings of confidence and self-esteem. We can also feel proud about belonging to a group or feel proud of a group for doing exceptional work. For example, you feel proud to be an American, or a member of a sports team or club. We show our pride by displaying symbols, such as flags, or wearing clothing showing our team spirit.”
Peterson explains that it can be possible to feel too much pride, and that can lead to bragging or conceit. There’s a thin line between pride and vanity. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves – feeling good about who we are and what we do. Vanity has more to do with what we would have others think of us. Developing a healthy self-image can help keep vanity in check.
At Kiddie Academy, we understand the value in helping children feel good about themselves. “Our teachers foster feelings of pride by talking to children about their accomplishments,” says Peterson. “We encourage children to share their accomplishments on a spotlight board or during circle time. We give high-fives for hard work and hugs for effort.”
An often overlooked part of teaching children about pride is helping them learn how to deal with failure. They won’t be successful every time they attempt something. But that’s natural and is merely an outcome, not a reflection on the child. When things don’t work out, assure them that you’re proud of the effort, that you love them regardless of the outcome and that next time the outcome could be different. In addition to bolstering their self-esteem, this teaches them about resilience.
There are simple things you can do at home to help your children feel proud. Our friends at PBS Kids for Parents suggest an easy way to help instill pride in your children is to hold a family awards ceremony. Your children can make certificates or ribbons to hand out, celebrating their own personal talents and those of others in the family.
There are some terrific books for helping your child learn about what it means to be proud. Here are a few classics you might consider reading together:
- Amazing Grace, by Mary Hoffman
- The Sneetches and Other Stories, by Dr. Seuss
- Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes
- The Story of Ferdinand, by Munro Leaf
Here are some additional resources for teaching your child about pride:
“30 Best Self-Esteem Books for Children” – Best Counselling Degrees
“Raise a Child with Healthy Self-Esteem” – PBS Parents
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