Let’s try to forget the usual “good job” and empty “you’re smart” - there’s so much more in the whole wide world to praise effectively!
In this blog, we will learn how to appreciate kids (and adults). You see, how we express appreciation can significantly impact their behavior, motivation, and self-perception.
So, tie your seatbelts, everyone, because we are hopping on a new ride to appreciate our kids and make them feel valued.
So, What's Wrong with "You're the Best"?
Turns out, slapping labels like "smart" or "talented" isn't just boring, but it can backfire. This kind of valuable praise creates pressure, and doubt, and makes kids more focused on maintaining the label than learning or improving. It's like giving them a crown before they've even learned to walk – not exactly helpful in growth.
Know that instead of giving them trophies or treats, we should become observers!
For instance, if they are learning piano and you observe that they have gotten a little bit good, try “ Wow, You spent so much time practicing that piece! I hear you nailed that tricky part in the middle, kudos kiddo”
This part, this part here where you described it specifically, tells your child what you appreciate him for, acknowledging their effort and progress without judgment. That right there, is great parenting.
Ripple Effect: Praise with Purpose
Imagine appreciating your child for helping a friend at preschool by saying, "Seeing you stand up for your friend made me so happy. It shows you care about others."
This type of praise not only acknowledges their action but also highlights the positive impact it had. This helps them understand the social involvement of their choices and fosters empathy and responsibility.
Celebrating Steps, Not Just Summits:
Reaching the peak of the mountain feels amazing, but the journey is where the real magic happens! Acknowledge and celebrate your child's progress, even if they haven't reached the final goal yet. "I see you practicing your piano every day! You're getting so much better at sounding out those tricky words."
This helps them understand their growth and development, motivating them to keep climbing higher and higher.
Questions: The Secret Weapon
Well, it is always better to not shower your toddlers with praises and “good jobs” and instead engage your child in a conversation about their day or actions.
"Tell me about that cool picture you drew! What inspired you to use those colors?"
This tells them to reflect on their experiences and efforts, deepening their understanding and boosting their confidence.
Comparison is the Thief of Joy:
Please, please avoid comparing your child to others – it's a recipe for competition and low self-esteem.
"You finished your homework before anyone else! You're so fast!" is not the way to go either. Instead, focus on their progress and unique strengths.
Feelings First, High Fives Later:
When your child is struggling or upset, offering an empty "good job" feels boring. Instead, acknowledge their feelings with empathy.
"I see you're feeling frustrated with this puzzle. That's understandable!"
This kind of validation builds trust and creates a safe space for them to express themselves.
The Power of Storytelling:
Sharing stories about your child's past successes and strengths can be a powerful tool for building confidence and a positive self-image.
"Remember that time you volunteered at the animal shelter? You were so kind and compassionate to those animals. That's something I admire about you."
This kind of conversation becomes part of their self-story, shaping their view of themselves and their capabilities.
Praise like a Ninja:
We are now at the end of our article and we only want you to know that how combining these strategies, you can transform challenging situations. It’s a gentle reminder that effective praise is like a small seed. It takes time and careful nurturing to blossom into a resilient, strong, confident, and happy child.
So, parents, leave the trophies behind and pick up the tools of thoughtful praise.
Remember, it is not about being perfect, it is about making a conscious effort to nurture your child's growth.
With a calm mind, observation, empathy, and correct words, you can help them paint a masterpiece of confidence, self-belief, and the best versions of themselves, one step at a time.
To read more about perfect parenting, check the book here.
And to connect with some amazing teachers and a wonderful day school stated by many parents, connect with us here.