There has been a shift in recent years where parents have been encouraged to heap more and more praise on their children's accomplishments. And it's important for our self-esteem that we receive the occasional boost and not be constantly put down and told what we're not capable of. In fact, we make it a point at Arrow to focus on the positives when working with students. We choose to focus on the things they do well, and encourage them to focus on things they can improve – in small, achievable steps.
However, this increasing trend to praise any and every accomplishment, even seemingly minor ones, can have the unintended effect of creating this dependency on praise and reward. As a result, we've observed this decrease in resilience and a rise in self-entitlement in our society, especially on younger generations.
Life sometimes throws hard lessons at us and every one of those lessons is there to teach us something important or give us the opportunity to find something we can improve. If we instead focus on how miserable and "hard done by" we are, the learning opportunities are simply missed.
The next time a situation falls short of your expectations or those of your child, and does not lead to the outcome you were hoping for, take a breath, pause, and give yourself some space to think about what that could really mean for you or your child, in terms of a change for the better. It's important that we teach our children that there are many 'misses' before we get one 'hit' and that, no matter how hard we want something, sometimes it may simply not happen.