19 May 2020
I bet your parents and teachers didn’t teach you one of the most important skills you can ever develop – how to praise.
The first three steps are praise immediately, be specific and smile!
Don’t pass up an opportunity to praise for a Friday afternoon or for a birthday. Give praise earned immediately.
Be very specific when you praise.
“You thanked your Grandmother for the present she sent to you without me having to remind you and with so much feeling.”
“You answered the phone so politely.”
But it’s not only children who should be praised. Mums, dads and other carers all need praise.
“Mum, I loved your new Italian recipe.”
“Dad, thanks for spending so much quality time with me over the past few weeks.”
If you praise without a smile you will not be perceived as being sincere.
Here are a few more suggestions
Look for things to praise as children struggle to learn a new skill or gain new knowledge. Don’t try to coach them as they struggle unless they ask for help. Just let them enjoy your praise.
Don’t wait for anyone to perfect a new skill. Praise them when they get things approximately right. This shows you have noticed their effort, that you are on their side, and it can lead to extra effort to get it right the next time.
Praising a child frequently for something he/she is really good at or was born with such as being beautiful, being good at sport or academically gifted can lead to over-praising resulting in him/her believing you only love him/her when he/she wins, gets good marks or because he/she is pretty.
In addition to using words when you praise, you could reward good behaviour by giving your child
- Additional quality time – that’s time when you hangout with your kid and they decide what you will do together or talk about. By the way, that’s the most likely time you will learn about their friends, bullying and challenges they face.
- Love tokens e.g. a little letter/card on his/her pillow/in the lunch box/treat
- Stars/stickers on a Star Reward Chart
- Pocket money or the occasional financial reward
- Do something for them e.g. tea/coffee/breakfast in bed; do one of their chores for a day
· A special blue ribbon which you pin on his/her shirt to celebrate a success.
Homes with a culture of praising of effort or accomplishment are normally happy homes.