Are you A Pygmalion Parent?

I have been hibernating…missing from this space but not from my most favourite topic about what makes kids tick and have been indulging in lots of reading and researching. Something I read today stuck on and thought it was worth sharing. Something that I have been following as a parent forever and ever without the knowledge of the fancy name it is called by in Psychological circles “The Pygmalion Effect”. 

The Pygmalion Effect is a phenomenon whereby higher expectations lead to an improvement in performance.

But why is it relevant here on a parenting site?

Turns out it is one of the key factors of raising successful and well adjusted kids.

The messages we give out during our parenting journey with our kids are the beliefs that are reinforced in their minds. Beliefs that become a blueprint for them. If the blue print is positive, our kids think themselves to be capable and work towards it. If the blue print is negative , they feel their limitations and work towards strengthening that belief in their minds. We often label our kids … sometimes these labels are good but many a times they aren’t. We label them as shy, as not good in studies, not athletic, lazy etc. And these become their reality. Our expectations form the basis of our child’s self-image. So our expectations should be high from them if we want them to perform better. High expectations does not mean we should expect our tone deaf child to become a Beethoven in future. But a belief that they will become their best versions and what makes them unique.

What we tell our kids will either help them reach success or knock them down, inflate their self esteem or deflate it and start a series of self doubting thoughts and lack of confidence. Parents attitude toward their children spills into their kids psyche and influence how they feel about themselves. Therefore it is important for us parents to continuously give out signals that are strong positive impressions. Our children doing well stems from our own unwavering belief in their ability and goodness.

Brooke Hampton’s famous quote, “Speak to your children as if they are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful and magical humans on earth, for what they believe is what they will become”, talks about this beautiful power of believing.

So are you a Pygmalion Parent?

If not, stop labeling, and make your kids believe in their strengths by having higher expectations from them & they will surprise you by performing to the best of their ability and better!

I am a Pygmalion Parent and it’s worked for me to be one… my kids are on their  individual journeys and I don’t know where will they reach. But they are sure of themselves and I continue to believe in their inherent strength and goodness! 

One thought on “Are you A Pygmalion Parent?

  1. Ok, good to know that I’ve been doing it right! But on a cautionary note, one also needs to recognize their child s Calibre and not have unrealistic expectations. Such situations will never end happily.

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