Raising children can be stressful. A lot of the time, they may do things that you don’t like, but that’s to be expected since they don’t know what they’re doing yet.
When they do behave the way you like, you need to praise your kids, because it’s actually quite a valuable parenting tactic.
Praise and encouragement for kids tells them that you like how they are behaving at the time. It works best if you describe the specific behaviors that you prefer. Encouragement is a form of praise because it might mean you’re letting your kids know you see them trying really hard. Encouragement and praise can work for kids of all ages. You can use rewards to reinforce desired behaviors, but don’t overdo it.
All you have to do is say things like:
- Good job!
- Nicely done!
- That’s awesome!
It’s very useful to add their name to the end of whatever you say because they automatically know that you’re paying attention to them and the praise is specifically meant for them.
Using praise helps your child know how they can think positively about themselves, and talking positively comes from that. Your kids should know how to recognize the times they do things well so they can feel rightfully proud about it.
Kids of different ages can be praised for a variety of things. Younger kids might be praised for sharing something or just leaving a park at the time you ask. Teenagers might be praised for getting home on time or starting their homework without reminders.
To further reinforce things, your praise should be descriptive. Instead of saying your teenager is a ‘good daughter’, tell her you’re happy ‘she came home in time for dinner so we could all be together.
You can use praise and encouragement to support positive behaviors that you see, but you can also add in rewards that get them to change undesired behaviors you don’t want. All kids will have them at some point. It’s just a part of the process of learning and growing up. Treats, extra privileges, and even surprises might all work to your benefit when applied properly. Just remember they are a tool and not a form of love, so don’t go overboard and spoil them.