Praising your Children
Learn how much praise is good for your child.
By: Taylor_Blue on: Sun 02 of Sep, 2007 [20:24 UTC] (2365 reads)
Being a parent you can become addicted to praising your child. But praising them all the time may be doing more harm than good. If you praise every little thing they expect praise all the time. How can we help them without harming them?
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Praising your child is a difficult thing. What can we really say to be sincere? Even if it is sincere it may not be used the right way. If you use a lot of I statements. ("I think that picture is awesome!) rather than about your child (I'll bet you really are proud of yourself."), your child will want your approval every time they do something.
This doesn't mean you should stop praising your child, it means that you should learn How to use it right. It can become a tool for recognizing good behavior, boosting self-esteem and making them feel inspred. Here are the rules:
- Don't do it all the time. If they do something for the first time make a big deal of it. But if you are praising them for every little thing ("You finished your cheese-YAY!") they may not realize when they have done something they need praise for. Your child may also feel they have to do things that constantly impress you.
- Be specific. Focus on what they did instead of being general. Say things like, ("Look at the greatswing set you made, and you even added someone swinging.") This will let them know you are taking notice of the work and encourages them to do more.
- Focus on the effort, not the outcome. When your child is learning something new, don't comment on how well it is being done. Instead focus on the excitement and progress ("You worked really hard at the painting, and I noticed you used a lot of different colors!").
- Focus on what has been achieved. Young children have a hard time realizing who they are and what they do. Learn how to praise the action, "You were so calm waiting in line at the grocery store." This helps your child understand their behavior that earned them that compliment.
- Point out the good things. It's easy to always point out mistakes while overlooking successes. If you point out achievements and good behavior you'll help reinforce them.
- Don't brag-especially in public. Overdoing it in public can just become really annoying to others. It also puts a lot of pressure on your child to keep doing things to keep you happy.
- Share the great things your child has done with your spouse. There is no reason why you should hold back talking about the great things, just try not to single out one child.
- Tell the truth. Your young child can see through false praise. Be hinest when commenting on an ability"I see you are working on learning how to draw." By not saying if they are doing good or bad, you're telling the truth and at the same time letting them know they have your attention.
- Use your body language. Body language is a great way to express that you approve. Smiling or rubbing them on the back gives them the message you are proud of them.
- Avoid using sarcasm. Children may not know you are joking and it may become criticism to them. Just let your children know what they are doing right.