How should we praise our children?

Decálogo de las alabanzas

Como alabar a nuestros hijos

The praise commandments

  1. The praise should be descriptive, including comments related to behaviour. For example: ‘Mark, it’s great that you have prepared your school bag!’
  2. DIt should include positive and motivating comments for the child, but REAL comments! Be careful not to express very high expectations over the little ones (with sentences such as ‘You can do it all’)
  3. Positive behaviour should be praised even if it is not too important or ‘what should be done’.
  4. t should be honest. If only one part of the task has been done, the child should be praised for it and after a pause, what’s still left to do should be added or reminded. Don’t use the sentence ‘Good… BUT’, since in this case the child will pay more attention to the criticism than to the praise itself.
  5. The voice tone should be pleasant and should avoid any sarcasm or reticence. Don’t use sentences such as ‘I can’t believe that Michael has finally finished his homework’. It’s better not to make reference to the child’s bad past behaviour, such as ‘Good job, I don’t know why you didn’t do it like this before’.
  6. The praise should be managed during or immediately after the emission of the answer that is wished to improve.
  7. t’s convenient to change the praises to avoid monotony.
  8. The praise across suggestion can avoid inadequate patterns of behaviour.
  9. IInitially praises can be combined with the use of rewards. Once the desired behaviour is established, the rewards can be removed gradually in order to leave the behaviour exclusively under the praise control.
  10. Physical contact (sitting close, kissing, tap on the shoulder) can be a very strong reinforcement specially at early ages. You can also show positive attention by smiling, giving them a quick comment, asking something or doing an activity together.

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