praise child
March 2, 2016 – Prestige Preschool Academy – Six Ways to Upgrade Your Praise

Six Ways to Upgrade Your Praise

There are many ways to upgrade your praise of your child’s accomplishments.  Parents and teachers walk a fine line in complimenting children. Too much “over-the-top” praise might even have a negative effect.  The child may feel that he is being manipulated.  So, what are the keys to making your praise meaningful?

 Focus on Improvement

Canned “This is the most creative art project in the class.”

Credible “Your art project is even more detailed than last time.”

Emphasize the Effort

By praising a child’s effort, you help her to be confident about taking on new challenges,” says Carol Dweck, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Stanford University, in California.  “ It also instills resilience, which will come in handy when the going gets rough.”

Canned “I’m proud you didn’t get anything wrong on the spelling test.”

Credible “I see you worked hard on memorizing the spelling words.”

Be Understated but Sincere

“It’s a curious phenomenon, but people believe things they overhear more than things that are told to them,” says Dr. Harvey Karp, M.D., Parents advisor and creator of the DVD and book The Happiest Toddler on the Block.Karp.  “Kids this age trust understated praise more than overstated praise,” says Low-key praise seems more honest and sincere.

Canned “You’re a great big brother.”

Credible To Father:  “You should have seen Ben helping Lila put her toys away today.”

Spotlight Specific Achievements

Canned “Terrific job selling all those Girl Scout Cookies!”

Credible “It was smart to smile and look customers in the eye when you asked them to buy the cookies.”

Take Time to React 

Instead of reacting right away, allow your child to evaluate and appreciate his own work; it lays the foundation for building self-esteem.

Canned “It’s so exciting that you won a ribbon at the science fair.”

Credible “Hmmm. Would you like to tell me about this ribbon?”

Acknowledge “You”

Canned “I’m incredibly proud of your school book report.”

Credible “You must be so proud of your school book report.”


Find out more about Prestige Preschool Academy and our positive approach to learning here !

From an article originally published in the January 2012 issue of Parents magazine.  magazine article

Image: Washington Post 7/7/2015

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