As a parent, watching your child succeed is one of the most exceptional experiences. Much of the time, most things your child says and does is worth mass amounts of praise in your eyes. Even if it’s as small as finishing their broccoli or remembering to do their chores, many times, it is met with more praise than deserved. Not to say your child doesn’t deserve praise, but it’s important to recognize when it causes an issue.
With too much praise, children can quickly become used to it, overly confident, and unable to put in the work for the recognition. Instead, parents may like to consider opting for encouragement. By shifting your language to encouraging words and phrases, it can have a much more positive impact on your child.
Recognizing the Effort
When you want to tell your child how proud you are of them or recognize their achievements, it’s essential to encourage the effort. Focus your attention on encouraging the practice and training that got them there. Rather than praising the result, you’re supporting what it took to get there. Link the excellent result back to the effort, practice, training, and preparation. Encouragement fosters delayed gratification, whereas praise puffs up for a short time.
Choose Your Words Wisely
As you recognize your child’s achievements, be sure to choose your words wisely. It’s important to not ‘puff them up’. Be careful with your words so that your encouragement does not result in praise that produces arrogant children. Instead of saying, “You are so great at football,” instead say, “I am so proud of the hard work you put into football practice to improve your game.” By choosing your words wisely, you are giving encouragement rather than just praise.
Consider How You Praise
It’s worth considering that how we praise our children may result in children growing up into adults who seek attention, love, and affection from their achievements. Praise is meant to boost confidence, not a means for validation. By shifting your language to being more encouraging, children can develop more of a growth mindset. If parents promote positive behaviours that help them further their skills, they’ll have confidence in their adult life rather than having the constant need for praise and validation.
Acknowledge How They Feel
Another way to change up how you give your children compliments or recognizing their hard work is by acknowledging how they feel. Consider taking out how we as parents feel about kids’ achievements and the rewards of their practice. Instead, turn your emotions into empathy into how they must feel with their progress. It’s important that they themselves can recognize how they think or feel about their achievements.