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Parent Survey

Parents can be the greatest providers of encouragement for their children, and they can also be the greatest source of discouragement.


Below is a list of parent behaviors that cause discouragement in children. Read over the list and reflect on yourself and consider areas you feel you need to improve on.


  1. I have an attitude that I own my child, and therefore he must serve my ambitions.
  2. I show a lack of interest in him. I neglect showing up when he is involved in school or sports activities.
  3. I allow his brother or sister to put him down.
  4. I criticize him personally rather than his behavior.
  5. I express a lack of confidence in him whenever he wants to try something for the first time.
  6. I compare him to his siblings or other children.
  7. I always tell him what to do instead of helping him find his own solutions to problems.
  8. I show no interest in his opinion or thoughts.
  9. I focus on his mistakes whenever he works hard.
  10. I have an attitude that I expect only perfection from him.
  11. I never let him do anything alone in the fear that he may get hurt.
  12. I use the silent treatment and avoid eye contact with him whenever I’m angry at him.
  13. I’m not gentle when pointing out his weaknesses.
  14. I avoid giving him physical affection.
  15. I neglect telling him that I love him.
  16. I don’t spend time alone with him.
  17. I’m inconsistent with discipline.
  18. I bring up old mistakes from the past when dealing with present problems.
  19. I don’t acknowledge his accomplishments.
  20. I love him for what he does instead of unconditionally for who he is.
  21. I correct him without reminding him that he is loved.
  22. I discipline him in anger and harshness.
  23. I discipline him without giving an explanation why.
  24. I use marathon and exaggerated consequences.
  25. I put him down and call him names.
  26. I say “no” without giving him a reason.
  27. I make sarcastic remarks about him.
  28. I embarrass him in front of others.
  29. I’m always too busy to listen to him.
  30. I show favoritism towards his brothers and sisters.
  31. I don’t show an interest in understanding his feelings.
  32. I never make him feel like he is important.
  33. I make fun of the way he looks or acts.
  34. I never apologize to him when I’m wrong.
  35. I criticize him by telling him he is like his other parent.
  36. I lie to him.
  37. We infrequently eat meals together.


What happens to children who are discouraged?


Encouragement is anything that raises a child’s self-confidence and motivation to live and be his or her best, and discouragement is anything that drains a child’s self-confidence and motivation.


Children who are discouraged will follow one or more of four patterns of misbehavior, which were first recognized by Rudolf Dreikurs, an Adlerian psychiatrist.



Also see the article:
How to Give Encouragement to Children



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