How to properly praise a child: advice from a psychologist

How to properly praise a child: psychologist's advice - Education, Psychology

The notorious carrot and stick method has long been irrelevant in the modern paradigm of education. It was replaced by techniques of motivation, encouragement, and soft stimulation for productive activity. All of them are based on external approval of what the child is doing. Parents appreciate his efforts and express their opinion with praise. 

From this we can conclude that you can praise just for the sake of praise, or you can — with an educational purpose. If you want to praise your child correctly, read this article. 

Why do children need praisePraise is important for both children and adults.

First of all, because it promotes motivation for further activities. Why do parents sometimes suppress their desire to praise the baby for some achievement or good behavior? 

Most likely, they are afraid to praise the child — to overestimate his self-esteem, to make an arrogant egoist. However, psychologists fundamentally disagree with this approach, arguing that it is impossible to praise a child.

The fact is that the child is so much dependent on the mother and father that their approval of his activities is decisive. It is by the reaction of his parents that he judges whether he has done well or badly.

Feedback from the closest people helps the baby in understanding the positive and negative manifestations of his personality. If they are stingy with praise, the child grows up insecure. He constantly doubts whether I did the right thing? Could he have done better? Hence follows the awareness of my role in society — am I a good person or a bad one? Am I loved or not? Am I better than another child or worse? 

Also read: 10 reasons why children don't hear their parents. What should I do if a child ignores you?

We don't even realize how many such questions banal praise closes. If there is one, the child naturally gets answers to these questions, even before they have formed them in his mind. Conversely, the lack of praise, and even against the background of constant criticism, creates unfavorable conditions for the normal development of the child.

How to praise a child

The best, the smartest — is it worth saying this to a child?Praise is certainly good, but it is important to choose the right words.

Often parents tell their children: "You are the best," which is not always objective. By creating a child's confidence that he is the most, we destroy his self-image. That is, he will know that he is the best, and in situations where this is not the case, there will be an internal conflict — I am the very same, why can't I do it? This causes frustration in oneself and one's own abilities, depression, apathy. 

It will happen many times during your life that your child will not be the first, not the smartest and not the most successful compared to other people. The ability to cope with this feeling is instilled in childhood, and if it is not in the background of the personality, then it's time to mope. 

For all parents, their children are the best in everything. And if you really want to praise your child like that, be sure to specify — "for me". ✓ You are the most beautiful for me!

Instead of:

✓ You are the most beautiful!

But it is better to completely exclude from your vocabulary the words "the most" in relation to the child.

Also refrain from comparing with other children, except in the context of "if he succeeded, then you will succeed" — as a way of motivation to improve your result. Praise the child correctly:How to properly praise a child

10 tipsIf we have figured out that praise is definitely a necessary and useful parenting tool, then let's talk about how to properly praise a child.

To help parents — 10 tips.1. Praise the child as soon as you notice that he has done something good / useful.

But at the same time, do not rush with compliments. Evaluate the result, ask about the details, discuss it with the child. Let him see your sincere interest and understand that you did not just formally flatter him, but you really liked it. Try not to postpone the praise for a more appropriate time — the effect will no longer be the same. 

✓ You washed the dishes so well, and wiped the glasses clean, and even took out the garbage. Good girl! Instead of: 

✓ Well done.

I'll review the dishes later. 2. In praise, emphasize not the natural talent of the child, but the efforts that he made to do something.

Having the ability, it is easy to perform tasks, and it is unnecessary to emphasize this with praise. It is much more difficult to do something, overcoming your inexperience or lack of skills. This is a painstaking work on yourself, and it deserves approval regardless of the result.

✓ How fast you learn to play the piano, it gets better and better every day.Instead of:

✓ Oh, you have real piano fingers, just a miracle!

3. Do not allow flattery — children feel it very much.

It doesn't matter how noble your motives are. Any falsehood devalues your other words/reactions in the eyes of the child. He won't trust your praise anymore.

✓ Yes, this sparring was a success, you were 5 points ahead of the opponent.Instead of:

✓ Wonderful!

You just crushed everyone there, there is no cooler athlete in the world!!!4. In order for your praise to be sincere, try to use maximum specifics.

Do not say that you liked everything and the child is generally smart, but praise for specific things — exactly the ones that you can be most proud of. 

✓ A good essay, your metaphor about autumn was unusual, but very bright, and I also liked the quote at the end.Instead of:

✓ A good essay, you're my dear writer.

5. Praise for every little thing, even if real disasters have occurred in parallel with it.

At the same time, do not mix praise and criticism. Let them be dispersed in time so that the child clearly understands where he did well and where he did badly.

Thank you for helping Aunt Sveta find her slippers.Instead of:

✓ Well, you made a mess in the hallway, knocked over Aunt Sveta's bag, well, at least you helped me find my slippers.

6. Try not to compare the child with other children.

You may think that in this way you are stimulating him to healthy competition, but in fact this is just an excuse to doubt yourself, to consider yourself less good/worthy than the one who is being set as an example.

✓ What a beautiful owl made of leaves! A very original craft. Instead of:

✓ A beautiful owl, but Olezhka also turned out to have beads.

7. During the praise, speak in a calm, gentle voice.

Your facial expressions should match the words. Hug the child, pat him on the shoulder, pat his cheek to make him laugh. Your words will be forgotten over time, but the emotions that the child received during this conversation will be with him for a very long time.

✓ How great are you helping Mom, my joy, come and hug me!Instead of:

✓ Thanks for the help, walk the dog again.

 8. Do not mention the mistakes of the past in praise.

How to properly praise a child

Let them stay there. If the child managed to improve, then it's time to forget about the past and emphasize his achievements in the present. 

✓ You recited Blok very beautifully at the literary evening. I already shed tears.Instead of:

✓ You recited Blok very beautifully at the literary evening.

Last time it was kind of bland. 9. Do not make predictions for the future in praise

. No matter how much you would like to see your child as a great artist or musician, he will choose his own path. And the deliberate programming of it on the path you have chosen can confuse, lead to protest and even alienate you.

✓ What a beautiful Lego castle you built. Instead of:

✓ What a beautiful Lego castle you built.

Well, that's it, you should be an architect.10. If you want to cheer up your child, praise him even for no reason.

Give a sincere smile and confidence that loving parents are next to him.

✓ Well, smile, you have such a beautiful smile, like the sun.*****

Praise is like a kind of medicine. Without it, it is impossible to grow a healthy, full-fledged personality. But it should be dosed, appropriate, with the right composition. However, praise your children as your heart tells you, because in this matter it is definitely better to "over-" than "under-". 

April 29, 2020 2022-11-27 2020-04-29 Rate the article on a 5-point scale Did you like the article? Share it on social networks

How to increase a child's self-esteem

How to increase a child's self-esteem The child's self-esteem is plastic. In some periods it may grow, in some it may fall. The good news is that it can be raised by correcting the shortcomings of par...


Musical development of children: how and why to introduce a child to music

Musical development of children: how and why to introduce a child to music Mozart said, "Music is the silence that lives between sounds." She is everywhere and in everything. It is impossible to live ...


Why does a child beat his parents

Why does a child beat his parents The kid is peacefully playing with a typewriter, and then suddenly launches it into the mother sitting next to him. Shock! Why is this cute baby doing such a terrible...


What influences the formation of a child's character

What influences the formation of a child's character The most famous psychologists, physiologists and teachers studied the process of character formation in children. 3. Freud, K. Jung, A. Adler, A. B...