How to Praise Your Child’s Accomplishments


Modern parenting wisdom suggests that your child’s good behaviour or achievements are more likely to happen again when followed by a positive consequence praise. Praise is important for many reasons, namely, it can encourage your child’s good behaviours/achievements, and help increase your child’s sense of self-esteem.

Praise happens when parents say things like “Great job,” “Way to go,” or “Good boy/girl.” However, children, like adults, compare themselves with others, and when praise is not forthcoming for an action or assignment they worked hard on, it can lead to confusion and upset.

The problem with praise is that it teaches children to learn about themselves in the context of external evaluation, and they begin to rely on external validation for their self-confidence.

Of course, we all rely on external praise to some extent, but in parenting, it’s all about balancing those occasional “good jobs” with other types of conversations with our kids to help them pause and consider their own opinion.

One easy way to shift the focus away from external praise is to use open-ended questions:

“Looks like you had fun, what part did you enjoy the most? “You were so focussed on your work – can you tell me about it? “That must have taken a lot of practice. How do you feel about it?” “You look very pleased about finishing the project. What did you learn about it?”

These prompts and open questions help children identify what they think about their own work. These simple shifts can really make a big difference in building a strong inner sense of confidence and self-reliance – give it a try.

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