How to praise a child properly

Many parents believe that praise and helps your child gain confidence. In fact, the result is often the opposite: the child becomes nervous and misbehaves. Why?

Many parents believe that praise helps your child gain confidence. In fact the result is often the opposite: the child becomes nervous and misbehaves. Why? Yes, because the more he gets undeserved praise, the more often he wants to show his “true nature. Parents often say that it is necessary to praise the child for good behavior – and he was like a chain off, as if seeking to deny praise.

How you can praise and how you can’t.
Does this mean that praise and trace letter d is “outdated”? Not at all. But it is not a good idea to use it right and left. After all, prescribing medicine for a patient, the doctor must specify the time of their admission, the dose, taking into account contraindications, the possibility of allergic reactions. Praise – it’s also medicine, and it’s potent, and it should be treated with care: assess, praise can only be deeds and actions of the child, not him.

Here’s an example that shows how to praise. Eight-year old Andrew did a good job in the garden, collected leaves with a rake, threw out the trash, neatly put his tools in place. The mother liked his work, and she expressed her approval of her son.

Mother: The garden was so dirty… I did not even think that you can remove everything in one day.
Andrew: And I did!
Mother: It was full of leaves and garbage.
Andrew: I did it all.
Mother: What a job!
Andrei: Yes, multiplication sets worksheets wasn’t easy.
Mother: The garden is so beautiful now.
Andrew: It’s clean now.
Mother: Thank you, son.
Andrew: (smiling widely). You’re welcome.
The mother praised Andrew’s deed, and the boy felt joy and pride that he had accomplished it. That evening he was very much looking forward to his father coming home to show him the clean garden and feel proud of his work again.

If, on the other hand, the praise evaluates the child himself and not his deed, it is only harmful. For example, such as this:

You are a wonderful son.
You are a real mommy’s helper.
What would mom do without you?
Such comments will only cause doubt and anxiety; the child will feel that he or she is far from being that “wonderful son” and cannot be that exemplary son at all. Therefore, without waiting to be “unmasked,” he will prefer to immediately ease his conscience by confessing some transgression.

Praise is as much in his eyes as the bright sun, and just as badly blinding. The child becomes uncomfortable if he is called wonderful, nice, generous, humble. He feels he must refute that praise, at least in part. It is not possible to declare out loud, “Thank you, I accept your praise.” But the inner voice also tells the child that you can’t honestly say to yourself:

“I’m just wonderful: I’m both kind and strong and generous and humble.”

Not only will the child refute the praise, but he will think of those who praise him, roughly, “If they think so well of me, then they’re not worth much themselves!”

Our words and the children’s conclusions
So, praise should be directed at the child’s deeds and actions, not his or her personality. You have to structure your commentary in such a way that children draw positive conclusions about themselves and their abilities.

Ten-year-old Zhenya was helping his father to equip the basement of the house. While working, he had to move heavy furniture.

Father: The workbench is so heavy. It is hard to move it.
Zhenya: (proudly) I did it.
Father: It’s not an easy job.
Zhenya: (flexing his arm and flexing his muscles) I am strong.
In this example, the father pointed out the difficulty of the task. The son made his own conclusion about his abilities. What if the father had said: “You’re so strong, son,” Zhenya might have replied, “Not at all. There are boys in our class who are stronger than me. An offensive and unnecessary argument would ensue…

How do children look in their own eyes
Praise is made up of two components – our words and children’s conclusions. Our words should express a clear positive assessment of children’s deeds, intentions, assistance of the child to us, his or her understanding, etc. It is necessary to clothe our judgment in such a form that a child could almost certainly make a realistic conclusion about him or herself. Here are some examples of how to praise children:

Proper praise: “Thank you for washing the car. It now sparkles like new!”

Possible conclusion: “I did a good job and my work was appreciated.”

(Incorrect praise: “You did just fine.”)

Correct praise: “Your poem really moved me.

Possible conclusion: “It’s good that I can write poetry.

(Incorrect praise: “That’s not a bad poem for your age.”)

Correct praise: “The bookcase you made is so beautiful!”

Possible conclusion: “I know how to carpenter.”

(Incorrect praise: “You’re a good carpenter.”)

Correct praise: “Thank you so much, you did all the dishes today!”

Possible conclusion: “I helped my mother.

(Incorrect praise: “You did it better than our mother.)

What the child says about himself/herself in response to our words, he/she will repeat later mentally as well. These internal positive evaluations largely determine how the child will relate to himself or herself and to the world around him or her.