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The Importance Of Giving Your Child Praise

When we give praise to our children, it is a way of telling them that we like what they did. This message can be in the form of a word, a phrase, a gesture or a facial expression. The message creates a sense of well-being and gives the child a feeling of pride, joy and respect. We as parents want to use praise when we see our children trying to do something that we want them to repeat on a regular basis. Behaviors we might want to praise are remembering their chores, being gentle with their younger siblings, signs of thoughtfulness, respect for others.

Whatever the situation, we should follow immediately with praise. It is also wise to come back later on and reinforce the behavior again with more praise. This can be repeated several times. When giving praise, we need to be aware not to use negative comments or comparison. Examples of how praise loses its positive value are: "For such a little boy, you did very well.

" "Well, now you look like a human being with your hair cut." Unfortunately, children learn soon enough about the comparison trap. I call it a trap because you never win.

You may come out on top every once in a while but you are left in a constant state of competition. This means no rest for the competitor, your child. What we want to do is relate the praise to the event, not the child's total character.

Here are some examples of how praise can be focused on events: "I'm glad you remembered to bring a pencil, that was good thinking." This gives that child the message that they can think for themselves. "Your room looks great. You sure did a nice job cleaning up your toys and making your bed." This gives the child the message that they are capable and a hard worker. If you do not ordinarily give direct praise to your child this may feel a bit awkward to you.

If this is the case, ask yourself: "Does your child know when you are pleased?" Far too often we think we don't need to praise them for doing something we expect them to do. We as parents are expected to cook, clean, cut grass, etc. but it sure feels good when someone comments on what a good job we're doing. A child needs to know that they are appreciated too. Make praise a regular part of your family.

Mark Webb is the author of How To Be a Great Partner and founder of Partner Focused Relationships?. Sign up for Mark Webbs Relationship Strategies Ezine ($100 value). Just visit his website at http://www.powerfulrelationshipadvice.com or http://www.therelationshipspecialist.com.

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