This Is Why I Won’t Say “I’m Proud of You” to My Kids Anymore

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I recently learned it would be more effective If I tell my children, “you should be proud of yourself” instead of “I’m proud of you.”

I never really thought about it.

I grew up with my parents who said, “I’m proud of you,” so that’s what I’ve been saying to my children.

When my eldest graduated nursery school, that day was filled with “I’m so proud of yous.”

From me,

my spouse,

grandparents,

and friends.

Because we were proud! But that shouldn’t be the most important thing to her. She should want to make herself proud and happy above everyone—including me.

Because I don’t want my children to be like me. I became reliant on praise. Searching for it at every turn.

Art via FB/angelica.ch.r

All I wanted was other people’s validation because maybe then I’d feel good about myself.

But it was fleeting.

And I ended up pursuing what I thought would make other people proud instead of exploring my interests and passions.

And when I failed, I’d feel like I let EVERYONE down. It was a lot of pressure, and I wasn’t happy.

I didn’t have a strong sense of self-worth because everyone else’s pride in me determined my pride in myself.

So, I want my kids to do what makes them proud,

to live for themselves,

feel their best,

and be their happiest.

And I want that to always guide them.

So, when they try something new and give it their all, I’m going to say, “you should be proud of yourself.”

They’ll also always know how much I support and love them and have their backs.  Because I will show them every day.

But I need my kids to be their own people, not little versions of me.

And above all else, I want them to be proud of the people they become.

This post originally appeared on the author’s Facebook page. 

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