Last time, my son said to me, “Mom, how beautiful you are today.”
Of course, the compliment pleased me. I was surprised, so I smiled at him and said, “Thank you.”
Now let’s think about what it means to our children as we praise them, especially when they do not expect it when they did not do anything special to expect praise.
We praise them when they do something without objection, on their own, or maybe play quietly. A hug will not be excessive. 😉
Children will not get spoiled because of praise. They become even more confident. Also, they will also take these patterns themselves and internalize them. It’s nice to hear your kid praise another. 🥰
Children imitate what they see and hear.
Positive behaviors should not be taken for granted.
A child is not born with the knowledge of ethical behavior and must learn it. It is crucial to praise positive actions. We neglect the negative instead. The child prefers to do those behaviors that we admire. Those who do not pay particular attention tend to exclaim.
So we pay attention to the positive behaviors, that we notice. That is how we reinforce this behavior. Our purpose is not to reinforce negative behavior.
We welcome positive behavior with praise. The purpose of approval is to encourage positive response so that the child is aware of it. We commend the child on the way to the goal, not only when he reaches it. Every step is important.
We praise him already when he starts making a bed. Not only when the bed is perfectly bedded.
We praise him when he shares things, talks quietly, responds to a request… His effort must be rewarded, not just the achievement.
Encouraging positive behavior
We need to look for positive behavior in children all the time so that they can consolidate it. We do this until the children begin to internalize a positive perception of themselves.
However, we must be aware that it will be easier to praise our child if we have a positive attitude with ourselves. That means that we can congratulate ourselves, because, in a particular situation, we responded well, that we reacted tremendously and resolved the conflict peacefully, and we were patient. Self-criticism is not recommended.
We need to learn positive self-talk. It will make it easier for us to do the same with the kid.
Sometimes even we have to praise ourselves out loud for how well we have done some work in the office or daily chores. This is an example of how to internalize a positive speech. This helps children learn how to self-evaluate and internalize self-motivation strategies.
Children should receive a lot of praise and not a lot of requests and criticism.
Compliments can be more effective if:
- We are concrete – in a way, we describe a child’s behavior that we praise, e.g. “You are great for putting your dolls away when I asked you to.” It’s not enough: good … nice … great …
- They are appropriate – meaning they must be related to the child’s positive behavior.
- We show enthusiasm – in a bright, happy, non-monotonous voice, with a smile and eye contact. We can pat him on the shoulder. We have to be honest.
- Avoid combining praise and criticism – recognition should be clear, without reminiscing of past mistakes or incompletely completed tasks.
- Let’s commend right away – five seconds is the most ideal. We applaud as soon as the child begins to perform the desired behavior (tidying up the toys).
- The behavior does not have to be perfect to earn recognition – the efforts of children are essential. Every step, even the smallest, is necessary. We encourage the child to reach his goal, with the stimulation.
- Encouraging children to praise themselves and others will help them build positive relationships with others while helping them to take on more challenging tasks and hold on to them.
Learning new behavior takes time and a lot of work. We give our children as much attention, hugs, flashes, smiles, and compliments as possible. In doing so, we build a compassionate child who can praise himself and others.
Praise them even when there are besides other people.
Some phrases to help you get started
- I like it when …
- You store the toys the way your mom asked you to. You’re a great helper.
- You listen to Mommy so well.
- This is an excellent way to …
- I’m really glad when …
- Thank you for …
- You must be proud of yourself for being …
Dr. Carolyn Webster-Stratton: The Incredible Years written by Dr. Carolyn Webster-Stratton
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