How to praise our kids

Here are some tips on how to say encouraging words to our kids. (I post this in 2011 and thought of re-posting it this year.)

HELPFUL PRAISE                                               UNHELPFUL PRAISE

“Thank you for polishing the floor,                      “You are truly mother’s little helper.”
it is so clean and shiny.”

“Thank you for washing the car,                          “You are an angel.”
it looks new again.”

“I liked you birthday card.                                    “You are always so thoughtful.”
It was so pretty and witty.”

“Your poem spoke to my heart.”                          “You are a good poet for your age.”

“The lantern you made looks beautiful.”             “You are such a good artist.”

“Your letter brought me great joy.”                      “When it comes to letters, you’re an A.”

“I appreciate your fixing the bed                          “You did a better job than Mommy.”
this morning.”

“Thanks for telling me that I still have                “You are such an honest child.”
a change. I appreciate it very much.”

“Your composition gave me a lot                          “You write well for your age.”
of new insights.”

“I appreciate your setting the table                     “You’re very helpful.”
while I cook dinner.”

*According to Dr. Haim G. Ginott in his book Between Parent and Child, the single most important rule in praising a child is that, praise deal only with child’s efforts and accomplishments, not with his character and personality. So, praise, like medicine must not be administered irregularly. Frame your words in such a way that the child will almost inevitably draw from them a realistic conclusion about his personality. – adapted from a magazine.

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