Kids & Compliments
Praise is a powerful tool! Effective praise improves a child’s self-confidence and willingness to try hard things before asking for help or giving up. When we compliment and encourage, we are actually modeling words for a child’s own future positive thinking and self-talk!
For a child, the most meaningful compliment is:
- Immediate, within a few seconds or minutes (depending on age)
- Specific to what the child did
- Sincere, given with body language that matches your words
- Based on effort and process, not just the final result
Name and describe the exact behavior you like and want to see again –
- I saw you sharing your toy with your sister. She had a happy smile when you did that!
- Thank you for coming to the table when I asked.
- I saw you waiting for your turn on the swing even though you really wanted to be first. You waited until someone got off the swing and then got your turn!
- You put all your books back on the shelf. Thank you for doing what I asked.
Notice effort and persistence –
- You spent a lot of time on that! I can see you were working so carefully.
- You never gave up even though that was very hard. Great job finishing!
- You are really challenging yourself and trying lots of things without giving up. What else can you try?
Try encouraging by stating facts or excitedly describing what the child did –
- Your smile shows me you feel happy and proud! Is that how you feel?
- Look at you! You figured it out!
- Look at all the different colors you used in this picture!
- That took a long time, but you did it!
- You worked so hard! Can you show me how you did/tell me about this part?
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