Are we doing the best for our kids by giving them praise?
DO you remember the days when you encouraged your kids for every little thing they did?
I had the pleasure of playing 'Aunty Shaz' this week when my sister visited with her six-month-old boy.
There were claps all around as he gave us slobbery 'kisses' and cheers as he made a few attempts to crawl.
That encouragement is set to continue for a long time yet.
His first words, his first steps, even attempts made during potty training will earn him praise.
At what point does the praise parents give their kids stop, or at least slow down?
Is it when mums and dads are so tired and frazzled they have lost their ability to encourage anymore?
Is it when the kids have achieved their 'first time' experiences multiple times now and watching them do a knee bounce on the trampoline for the hundredth time has seriously lost its appeal?
More importantly, at what point should the encouragement end?
I don't mean stop encouraging your kids altogether.
I mean you shouldn't encourage your kids in things they really can't do.
You don't have to be the best singer to enjoy singing. I'm proof of that.
However, if your child can't sing a note, don't tell them they could be the next singing sensation.
After all, who wants their offspring starring on X-Factor as one of those contestants everyone is laughing at?
Over the years working as a journalist I have heard many a famous person tell their story.
One thing they have all said is they worked hard to get where they were and through their own passion they achieved success, continuing on when times got tough.
But not everyone is going to be the best at everything they try.
That is where I believe responsible parenting comes in.
Instead of telling kids they are the best, or can be the best, we should be telling them to simply do their best.
Their best might be continuing to sing with a hairbrush microphone in the privacy of your own home, but as long as they are having fun, that is what counts, isn't it?
You can always buy ear plugs.