How to praise your children, effectively ? – PARWARISH
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How to praise your children, effectively ?

By February 15, 2019 No Comments

Why is PRAISE important?

Using the right praise can –

Enhance childs’ self-esteem.

Increase intrinsic motivation to achieve.

Enhance perseverance.

Is there a right way to encourage/praise?

If encouraging and praising are so useful, does it mean that you should praise your child lavishly, and your child will then be so motivated that you will never have to worry about them not working hard in school?

Not all encouraging words are equal. If used indiscriminately, some types of encouragement can actually do more harm than good.

Lets look at a little science behind praising !

Praise Genuinely.

We sometimes praise our children purposely to boost their self-esteem, motivate them, encourage certain behavior, or protect from them from hurtful feelings. However, if praises are not perceived as sincere and honest, children won’t feel very encouraged.

Insincere praises are not only ineffective, but they can also be harmful. Praises that are not consistent with the way they see themselves may be perceived as insincere. Dont be lazy and use generic terms while encouraging. The more specific, descriptive and to the point, you are – the more these words have an influence on the mindset of children.

Point out a specific aspect of the child’s performance and describe what behavior led to good results (“It was good to sort by shape.”)

Specific and descriptive comments signal you have paid attention and you really care.


Don’t Do
You’re a genius for solving that problem! (“Genius? I only got one out of three questions!”) You came up with a very good answer for the last question.
What an angel you are! (“I’m an angel for sharing a cookie? What about not doing homework last night?”) It’s generous of you to share your cookie.
You did very well. I’m sure you will do well again next time. I like the solution you came up with.


Don’t Do
That’s awesome!


Good job!

I like the way you are using different colors on these balls.


You came up with a thoughtful answer and really nailed that question!

The reality is that children don’t need to be told “good job!” when they have done something well; it’s self-evident. They do need to be told why they did well so they can replicate that behavior in the future to get the same positive outcome.

Help children understand that the brain works like a muscle,that can only grow through hard work, determination, and lots and lots of practice.

Don’t tell students they are smart, gifted, or talented,since this implies that they were born with the knowledge, and does not encourage effort and growth.

Praise the process.It’s effort, hard work, and practice that allow children to achieve their true potential.

Don’t praise the results. Test scores and rigid ways of measuring learning and knowledge limit the growth that would otherwise be tapped.

Embrace failures and missteps. Children sometimes learn the most when they fail. Let them know that mistakes are a big part of the learning process. There is nothing like the feeling of struggling through a very difficult problem, only to finally break through and solve it! The harder the problem, the more satisfying it is to find the solution.

Encourage participation and collaborative group learning. Children learn best when they are immersed in a topic and allowed to discuss and advance with their peers.

Encourage competency-based learning. Get kids excited about subject matter by explaining why it is important and how it will help them in the future. The goal should never be to get the ‘correct’ answer, but to understand the topic at a fundamental, deep level, and want to learn more.

Don’t Do
What a smart boy! I can see that you worked very hard on this.
Your ability in puzzle solving is excellent. Your strategy in solving this puzzle was excellent!
You are such a great puzzle-solver! You are good at trying different ways to solve a hard puzzle.

Instead of sweeping praises, encourage children using descriptive and specific comments. The less general or generic the praise, the more likely it is factually correct and perceived as sincere.

Avoid Easy-Task Praise Or Over-Praise

Children who are subjected to frequent praises learn to select only those things they think will please their parents and avoid doing those things that may not. They follow a pattern known to bring praise rather than to experiment with something new.

Overpraising, however, condition children to expect praises every time. It becomes an extrinsic reward that reduces, not increases, motivation. Frequent praising also leads children to believe absence of praise signifies failure.

Praises are counterproductive especially when they are given out indiscriminately. They may create over-inflated self-image resulting in narcissistic children. Overpraising also make children feel pressured to perform every single time or believe in contingent self-worth.

Team Parwarish with inputs from Carol Dweck’s study & social media. 


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