CAN you remember the last time someone gave you praise for a job well done, or complemented something about you? I’m sure that, like me, it made your day and the warm feeling it left behind lingered. Praise is indeed magic!

It is essential as parents to praise our children as it will reap many rewards. Among other things praise helps our children to feel good about themselves. If they feel good about themselves then we will see the positive behaviour we want to see.

It is easy to focus on our children’s faults and get into a rut doing this. Instead make a conscious effort to focus and comment on the good things you see in your children. You will find you will in time notice positive behaviour occurring more and more.

Using praise as a parenting strategy helps children to remember what we’d like them to do.

If your child has fallen into the trap of gaining attention through behaving badly then this is where you can turn the tables with noticing the good things they are doing and using descriptive praise. Descriptive praise focuses on the behaviour rather than the child. After all, if we are labelled with the good girl/boy or naughty girl/boy tag we become that label. An example of descriptive praise is “wow I love the way you are sharing with your brother” or “that was a really kind thing you did there for grandma.”

Praising our children helps us to feel good too - there is nothing worse than having to nag and admonish all of the time.


NEXT WEEK: Hitting and hurting