The Right Way To Praise Your Kids
Praising your kids is an essential part of raising them, but it’s not as simple as saying ‘great job, honey!’ to everything they do. The words and phrases you use to praise your kids can actually affect them more than you think, so knowing how to do it right will help them into adulthood and ensure they are confident, well-rounded individuals who aren’t afraid of hard work. If you want to make sure you’re praising your kids effectively, this is how to go about it.
Make Your Praise Mindful
Making your praise mindful, in other words, being specific, is key to making sure your kids understand why they did such a great job. Let’s say they have helped you to tidy up. Instead of saying ‘good job!’, let them know what you liked about what they did. If they organized something for you, let them know that you appreciate that because it’ll help you all to find things more effectively when you need them. Being specific like this will help them to feel more valued and ensures they repeat the same behavior in the future.
Praise The Effort
Kids may end up giving up on something if it doesn’t come easy to them, whether it’s tying their shoelaces or trying a new hobby. Rather than saying ‘wow you did it!’ when they get it right, make sure you praise the effort. Let them know that when they keep trying no matter what, they will get results. It’s all about praising the effort, not the outcome. Focusing on achievements only can actually be demoralizing, and stop them from putting effort into things later on.
If they have painted a picture, instead of saying ‘that’s a great picture!’, praise the effort and focus that went into the picture. You can also say something like, ‘I love the colors you chose for the flowers!’. Be specific about what you like about it. Making out that they are a natural Picasso can actually make them afraid of failure later on if they don’t get praise from bosses/peers right away.
If your kids have put a lot of effort into something specific, you could consider rewarding them. You could buy spongebob stretch pants and let them know that it’s for all of the hard work they have put in lately – but try not to do this too often. You could consider implementing a points system.
Don’t Praise Kids For Their Looks
Praising kids for their looks alone can put them under a lot of pressure, especially young girls. You don’t want them to grow up thinking that their looks are the only important thing! Praising them like this will tie their self worth to their looks, so consider praising them in other ways. If you want to praise how your child looks, consider making it something they can change easily, like their outfit.
Avoid Praising Kids For Eating
Making comments about food and eating in front of kids can be very tricky. Praising them for eating all of their dinner, even if this is something they have struggled with in the past, can make them think that they shouldn’t listen to their bodies, and eat to please others. Comments about their eating can lead to things like eating disorders, emotional eating, and comfort eating when they get older. Try not to focus too much on their eating. As long as you provide meals and healthy snacks, they will eat when they are hungry!