It can be the simplest of things that bring joy, positivity and a smile to a child’s day. Just a single word, makes the world of difference. Praise is a gift to a child. Praise acknowledges, applauds and supports their efforts and attitudes. But how we praise and why, can have a huge impact on our children.
Recognizing the power of positive praise can help us ensure our words, love and intentions are not lost in translation. The golden rules of praise support effective parenting, quality early childhood education at Ganeinu and make a genuine difference in our children’s lives. What attributes make praise effective, authentic and purposeful on a daily basis?
“ You are holding those scissors so carefully, great job! ” -
Utilize praise as a way of helping your child to focus their attention, skills or awareness. What is it that you are communicating about their actions and what do you want them to focus on? Words should reinforce their behavior and directly offer guidance on the aspect of behavior you are seeking to teach. In this case safety with scissors is essential and you are telling them to take care.
“ That was a great observation about the rhyming sounds in the story” –
Praise can be used to scaffold learning and to offer more information for the child to build on. It can extend vocabulary, offer new ideas or support a child’s thinking about a topic. Praise can identify what a child understands and help them clarify their learning in more detail.
“ I really like the way you used words to tell her you are frustrated”-
Praise can be an effective method to modify or reinforce behaviors or expectations for children. Praise can directly communicate what we hope children will do or work towards in their social behavior and peer relationships. It can establish a desired outcome or create a standard of behavior you expect. Nothing is as powerful as a parent’s attention when a child succeeds in action or effort.
“ What an amazing job you just did” -
Praise has the power to disengage a child, as quickly as it has the power to engage. Praise needs to be timely and immediate to be most effective. Parenting is a new challenge and a joy all wrapped up into a day, so make your words meaningful and deliberate if you expect them to be effective. Sincere and honest praise in the teachable moment uses words to guide and reward.
“ Those ideas are really clever” –
Praise tells children we care and that their feelings and thoughts matter to us. A child who feels acknowledged and supported in their learning, is more likely to be happy, successful and loving. Praise builds self-esteem and confidence as children inquire, develop and grown into independent learners. Praise builds pride.
As parents, you have the opportunity to praise with purpose and guide your child by your words. Mastery of the power of praise is in your hands, so lets start by……
* Focusing on the child’s actions or awareness
* Scaffold learning with praise
* Use praise to modify or reinforce
* Make praise timely and therefore meaningful
* Praise to build pride