Tips on Praising your Child!
You can never go wrong with praise and in fact praise shapes behavior by positive reinforcement.
Praise needs to be genuine, sincere and focused on your child’s effort and hard work, not necessarily the outcome. For example, you should praise and encourage your child for going to baseball practice, working hard on their skills and facing new challenges, not just praise them when he/she wins the game.
Though praising your child is a vital part of fostering their confidence and self-esteem, the quality of the praise is more important than the quantity. Avoid praising your children’s attributes (“You’re so pretty and smart.”) and instead focus on their actions (“You worked so hard on that project.”). Encourage kids to try new, more difficult activities through praise, rather than rewarding and acknowledging them for the things that come easy.
By being genuine and specific with your praise and encouragement, you can help build your child’s self-confidence while teaching him/her about the importance of effort and hard work. Try to eliminate constant negativity in your household and put the focus on all the wonderful things your children are doing instead.
So don’t worry about spoiling your child with praise and follow a model for praise, here are just a few examples:
- Use praise consistently. Each day, make sure your kids hear the following phrases from you: I love you. Please. Thank you. Thank you for being my child. I’m proud of you. I believe in you. I trust you.
- Make praise contingent on behavior. Don’t just compliment your kids for doing what’s expected of them, or for something minor (or just for being cute and adorable). Compliments should be reserved for actual accomplishments! Praise immediately and give pats and hugs and kisses along with praise.
- Praise them appropriately. When your kids do something special, like draw you a picture or get dressed by themselves, that’s when you can tell that you’re proud of them. Rewarding your child reinforces good behavior, but they are validated simply by knowing that they’ve pleased Mom and Dad.
- Praise with smiles, eye contact and enthusiasm and when you can’t physically do that, slip them a note. If your children can read or are in school, tuck a note in their backpack or lunchbox and let them know how you feel about them. If you have a pre-reader, print out some positive, note-size images (like thumbs up or smiley faces) to provide encouragement. A little acknowledgment can go a long way.
- Give compliments around the house. While you’re at it, give your partner, grandma or even the dog a compliment. It sets up a positive environment in the home that Mom and Dad encourage each other too! A happy home has a happy family! <3
SOCIAL REINFORCEMENT (NON-VERBAL)
- Smiles Winks
Pats Standing Beside
Eye Contact Hugs
Nods Shaking Hands
SOCIAL REINFORCEMENT (VERBAL)
- Good Job! Thank You!
Very Good! Nice Going!
I’m proud of you! Nice Work!
Excellent! I like the way that you….