We’ve heard so many parents say, “My child doesn’t do anything right.” Even the “worst” kids do things right. In fact, they may be doing a lot right. If we‘re focusing on the “bad,” that will be all we see, and we will miss what they do well.
The skill of Effective Praise helps parents acknowledge what kids are doing well, even if it’s small. When we focus on the positive, we will see things change as our kids will respond to the praise and acknowledgment of what they’re doing right.
Using Effective Praise is different than just offering general praise. General praise is sayings like, “Good job,” “Way to go,” “I’m proud of you.” While all of these sounds great, they won’t change your child’s behavior because they don’t tell a child anything.
On the other hand, Effective Praise helps a child understand what they are doing well and why they should continue it. Effective Praise is specific and tailored to your child and what they are doing.
Effective Praise sounds like, “Good job putting away your shoes. When you put away your shoes, you will know where they are, and you don’t have to spend time looking for them when you want to play with your friends.”
The hardest time to praise our children is when they are misbehaving, as it can be easy to think they don’t deserve praise. That is when you need to praise them! Remember, a child acts out because they are dealing with large emotions that they don’t know how to express. When you praise positive behaviors during a tantrum, it shows them they have options other than misbehaving and that even though they are acting out, you still love them and want to help them.
You can find the skill of Effective Praise on the Smarter Parenting website.