The Power of the Word “Proud”

“Proud”

Word type:  adjective

Definition:  feeling deep pleasure or satisfaction as a result of one’s own achievements, qualities, or possessions or those of someone with whom one is closely associated.

Synonyms:  pleased, glad, happy, delighted, joyful, satisfied, thrilled, gratified

I found the word to be possibly the most powerful one my wife and I could use as a parent.  Far more impactful than any of its synonyms shown above.  Most kids thrive on making their parents proud.  “Mom/dad, look at what I just did!”  Next I’ll explain a bit more about how my wife and I used this as a parenting tool.

As often as your kids deserve it, and even for little things, let them know when they make you proud.  You can immediately tell the effect from the type of expression you get in return.

  • “That’s great.  I’m proud of you.”
  • “You made me proud when you _______”
  • “You should be proud of yourself for ______”
  • “Best of luck, we know you’ll make us proud.”

The cool thing about being prideful is that it doesn’t have to be restricted to outcomes or accomplishments.  It can be used for significant efforts or approaches to handling things, even if their outcome isn’t what was hoped for.

  • “Even though your team lost the game, I’m really proud of how hard you fought and never gave up.”
  • “Although your friend is still not happy about what you did and it will take a little time to regain their full trust, I’m really proud that you were honest with them and made a commitment to never let something like that happen again.”

When your kid goes off to college and even when they are professionally employed and living on their own, they will still probably cherish the word when it comes from you.  You’ll know that’s the case if you’re still one of the first people they call to brag about something they accomplished.  And even then you can still use the word in response.

Author: Gordon Daugherty

Gordon Daugherty is a best-selling author, seasoned business executive, entrepreneur, startup advisor and investor. He has made more than 200 investments in early-stage companies and has been involved with raising more than $80 million in growth and venture capital. From his 28-year career in high tech, Gordon has both an IPO and a $200-million acquisition exit under his belt. Now, as co-founder and president of Austin’s Capital Factory and as author of the book “Startup Success”, Gordon spends 100 percent of his time educating, advising, and investing in startups.

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