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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


The Power of Praising and Encouragement

By Andrew Loh

As parents, we know and understand that praising and encouragement form two of the most potent tools to raise our children. We also know that these characters are very important for a meaningful parent-children relationship. In essence, almost all parents have learned and mastered the art of developing their children's self-image and self-esteem by inculcating a number of positive and encouraging words and expressions. However, what is a bit misleading is how the action of praising can really make a significant difference in how and in what manner our children benefit from those wonderful words of praise and encouragement.

The effort of praising is far more encouraging for your children than to praise the outcome. When you praise and encourage your children, when they are working very hard to perform best in their classes, you are actually praising and encouraging them for their effort. In fact, you will not be focusing on the results or outcome of their effort; in reality, you may never focus on, if they win or lose in the game.

Tip: Every parent may wish to praise his or her children for those things that are extremely difficult to control and not those they cannot.

Praising is communicating! Communication is an effective tool to heap praise your kids. Praising is a positive action! It is also a productive process of empowering your children with an efficient tool to succeed in their life. Praising is also a tool that can help your children perform better in whatever the career they chose. You can show praise by using a number of little gestures and actions!

Kind words, actions, facial expressions, or even a very gentle touch can constitute essential features of praising and encouraging. Praising and encouragement can lead to inherent feelings of self-pride and self-confidence. These positive actions will also help your children perform better than their counterparts. When you praise your children, you are letting them know that:

  • Who they really are

  • What they are actually doing

  • What they have performed, is very good and meaningful.

Praising and encouragement are important for both you and your children. Some of the perceived benefits are:

  • Developing will power

  • Encourage positive self image and behavior

  • Develop self confidence

Ensure that you are praising your children for what they are and what they do. Never look at the possible outcome or results. In fact, there are two basic types of praising and encouragement - praising and encouraging for being and praising and encouraging for doing. When you praise your children for what they are or praising for being, you are already letting your children know that they are really good and worthwhile. This positive action will also demonstrate that you love your children. You can employ this technique anytime you want.

On the other hand, praising your children for what they are doing means that you are praising them for what they have already done. With this simple action, you are letting your children know and understand that their actions were pleasing to you. Did you know what your children simply love to please you all the time? Here are some kind praising and encouraging words that you can practice in front of your children:

Praising and encouraging for doing or performing an action

  • "Thanks so much for helping me"

  • "You have worked so hard for that subject"

  • "Thanks for helping in the kitchen"

Praising and encouraging for being and for what they are

  • "I love you so much"

  • "You are really so cute and loving"

  • "You are so adorable"

However, you may wish to be careful while using these techniques. Never ever, use both of these techniques together and at the same time. Just stop for a minute before praising your children. You may need to check why you are praising and encouraging your children - is it for what they are or is it for what they have done or performed. Here are some examples:

Say "Dad loves you so much" instead of "Dad loves you so much for helping me"

Just assess and evaluate the above-mentioned sentence:

You are telling your child, her or his dad loves her only sometime, like when she performs a specific action; in this case, it is helping mother. However, the other way of praising is actually very positive and meaningful. In this case, you are praising your children for what they really are! Here, your praising and encouragement is purely our of affection and it is unconditional. Careful use of words and expressions can do wonders for your children. When you praise and encourage your children in a thoughtful manner, you are helping them succeed in their future, both in their professional and personal life. 


Child Development

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