We live in a society that labels everything. However, labeling doesn’t work well with children. Harmless labels can negatively impact the self-esteem of children and prove detrimental for their personality development. This is because children define their sense of being by processing conferred labels. And, it’s not about negative labels only. Imagine that if a child plays music very well and people start labeling him/her ‘little musician’ but what if, he/she really wants to be a soccer person? Labels can have a lot of impacts and we need to be mindful of how we talk about children.
Parents should try and avoid labeling as a motivational tool. Children are not going to be motivated to exercise if we label them as ‘fat’. A wise idea is to comment on the behavior, instead. For example, “Jonny, you put a lot of hard work into your school project” is a better alternative to “Jonny, you are such a great little academician!” For negative events, it is better to say – “I think you need to take another look at that math problem” than “Math is not meant for dumb children like you!”