“Praise, like sunlight, helps all things to grow.”– Croft M. Pentz

 

All parents have different parenting ways to develop positive things for their children. However, there are still many parents who do not understand that giving praise is important for children.

No matter how old your child is, your praise and encouragement will help them feel good about themselves. Praise helps them increase their self-confidence.

According to Elizabeth Hartkey-Brewer in Raising and Praising Boys (2005), giving praise to children is an important part of parenting. It happens because the effect of parental praise on children helps them respect themselves as individuals.

In addition, praise also encourages children to be highly motivated and always do the best things in life, both for themselves and their environment. However, some praises are more helpful than others.

Research shows that certain types of praise make children doubt their abilities. Saying things like, “You’re amazingly smart!” or “Good job!” looks great, but there are better ways to empower children through praise.

Therefore, praise must be delivered in the right way, place, and time to give a positive impact. Try to do the following in praising your children:

  • Express compliments sincerely. Children will feel when their parents’ praise is genuine. When praise sounds insincere, children may question the praise in their minds why you were not telling the truth. In addition, children who are smart enough can feel like you think they couldn’t do better when your praise is not sincere.
  • Praise is conveyed clearly and specifically. Explain the praise you give in clear language and so that the praise can be conveyed. Avoid giving unclear praise to children such as “You are a very good boy”. Praise like this is less clear because the children will be confused about what they are doing so they get that praise. In learning at school, for example, the teacher will clearly express praise, such as “Adel’s opinion is very good that you are a candidate for future movers in Indonesia.” Or something like, “Your picture is so good, Celine. From this picture you can see the order of the planets in our solar system”.

Praise like this can be seen clearly and conveyed to children so that it helps them to be motivated to do something well.

  • Praise focuses on progress. When we say praise which focuses on progress, it will help children see that their efforts during the process have paid off. It can keep them motivated. For example: “Mom and dad saw your persistence in practicing playing soccer. You are better at controlling the ball than the year before”.
  • Discuss good actions that influence others. For example, you could say, “Thank you for helping Mama prepare the plates for our dinner. I appreciate your help, son.” It shows children that they are valued members of the family or community and believe that they can make an impact.
  • Help children express feelings. Sometimes children need help in expressing their emotions and showing their accomplishments. For example, when you see that your child is working hard on learning mathematics, you can say: “You must be very proud because all your hard work and the results of your efforts make a big difference in learning mathematics.”

Showing praise that is done in the right way, place, and time like the five ways above will help to optimize and becomes impactful praise for children’s development.

Good luck, dear parents!

May 9, 2021

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