It’s no secret words have a significant impact on all human beings, but to our children, words of encouragement and praise can lead to achieving milestones and creating self-value. A compliment, a gesture, a facial expression, a simple hug, or a high-five can generate self-worth and pride in children. As children grow older, gaining approval from a parent or guardian becomes very important in their lives.

Here are the benefits for children if they receive praise and encouragement from their parents and caregivers:

• Children learn who they are and the things that they do are pleasing to their parents and caregivers.

• Children develop a personal sense of self-worth and self-esteem.

• Children who believe they have self-worth go on to treat themselves and others positively.

• Children with positive self-worth tend to make better grades in school, do not get discouraged easily, and have more productive lives overall.

There are two ways you can effectively praise your children. There is “Praise for Being” and “Praise for Doing.”


Praise for Being

Praise for Being is the highest form of praise and lets your child know that you value them for being who they are. It is unconditional and reinforces that they have self-worth and self-value just for being your son or daughter.
Examples include:
I love you very much!
You are a very kind person.
I am so happy you are my (daughter or son).

Praise for Doing

Praise for Doing is the second form of praise for children, and it lets a child know their value. Achieving an accomplishment is one time to Praise for Doing, but it is also important to praise a child while they are making an effort to learn a new skill. Unlike Praise for Being, the key for praising a child for doing is to be specific in what you are praising. For example, saying “what an angel you are” is a blank statement and not specific enough for a child to understand what task they are exceeding in. A better praise for doing statement would be, “What an angel you are for listening to mommy and cleaning your room. Great job!” This praise is more specific and lets the child know their positive actions.

With Praise for Doing, it is also crucial to praise a child while they are putting forth the effort to learning a new skill. This is called the growth mindset. Children will attribute success in the amount of energy they put into learning a new skill and will lead to persistence and enjoyment while practicing the new skill.

Positive reinforcement, praise, and encouragement will condition a child to repeat the praised behavior and is a positive tool to use when children are learning new skills, subjects, and practices.

Do you have any questions about positive reinforcement and praising a child? Give Family Builders a call at (405) 232-8226, and let us tell you more about our parenting skills classes.

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