By Terra Clark, MSW, Courier & Press, November 7, 2017 –
Praise can have a powerful effect on children. Parents, are we praising our children for what they’ve done well or just criticizing them when they don’t meet expectations?
We all want our children to do the right thing. When they fail to do so, it’s easy to criticize, yell or express disappointment.
As a school social worker, I meet with parents all the time who say, “Why should I praise my child for doing something they are expected to do?”
If we constantly nag our children to do things differently, it puts everyone involved in a negative mindset. Constant ridicule erodes self-esteem and confidence.
It is important to reinforce the good things children are doing. Having an attitude of gratitude and praising children for the positives will ensure more positives come about. What we focus on is what grows.
Expressing gratitude for your child’s good choices helps build their confidence and self-esteem for making positive decisions.
That’s Incredible * How Extraordinary * Outstanding Performance * Far Out * Great * Marvelous * I Can’t Get Over It * Wonderful * You Should Be Proud * Amazing Effort * Unbelievable Work * Phenomenal * You’ve Got It * Superb * You’re Special * Cool * Excellent * Your Project is First Rate * Way to Go * You’ve Outdone Yourself * Thumbs Up * What a Great Listener * Your Help Counts * You Came Through * Terrific * You Tried Hard * Fabulous * The Time You Put In Really Shows * You Made It Happen * You’re A Real Trooper * It Couldn’t Be Better * Bravo * You’re Unique * Exceptional * You’re A Great Example For Others * Fantastic Work * Breathtaking * Keep Up The Good Work * Awesome * I Knew You Had It In You * You’ve Made Progress * Your Work Is Out Of Sight * What An Imagination * It’s Everything I Hoped For * Stupendous * You’re Sensational * Very Good * You Made The Difference * Good For You * A+ Work * Take A Bow * Super Job * How Thoughtful Of You * Nice Going * Class Act * Well Done * You’re Inspiring * How Artistic * You Go The Extra Mile * Hooray For You * You’re A Joy * You’re A Shining Star * You’re Amazing * What A Great Idea * Great Answer * Extra Special Work * You Deserve A Hug * You’re Getting Better * You’re Tops * You’re Catching On * You’re Neat * You’ve Got What It Takes * Spectacular Work * You’re A Winner * You’re #1 * Remarkable * Beautiful * Great Discovery * Clever * You’re So Kind * Wow * Magnificent * You’re Sharp * You’re Very Responsible *Brilliant * Thanks For Helping * Thanks For Caring * You’re A-OK * You’ve Earned My Respect * You’re A Pleasure To Know* You’re Very Talented * How Original * What A Genius * Very Brave * Congratulations * You’re A Champ * You Figured It Out * You’re Super * Right On * You’re The Greatest * You Make Me Smile
Children want attention; make sure you are pointing out the positives and giving praise daily. As caregivers it is our job to build children up and be positive role models. Children who are praised will, in turn, give praise to their peers and create a more positive, kind school environment.