How to praise a child correctly
If you look in the Ozhegov Dictionary or 7th grade common core math the word “praise” is defined there as a good review about someone (something), approval. It would seem that what could be easier? If I like what you do, I approve of your behavior, I talk about it – praise you. But in reality it’s much more complicated, and almost all parents wonder if it’s enough to praise generously and not stingy with good words, or is it enough to celebrate only the serious achievements of the child, respecting clear boundaries? Where is the golden mean, when praise becomes a magic wand, a tool with which parents can build a child’s personality brick by brick?
Praise and science activities 1st grade – quite difficult and quite ambiguous means of education. It is difficult because its effect may not be at all what parents expect. Along with the ability to instill confidence, praise can actualize internal conflicts, awaken negative aspects of the personality and cause emotional tension. This is what happens when parents use evaluative praise.
What is evaluative praise?
You drew a Christmas tree – “well done,” you made a marten – “clever,” you ate soup for lunch – “good boy,” you drew a drawing – “very nice.” If a child is used to hearing evaluation of his or her performance all the time, he or she starts to focus on it, which leads to dependence on the approval of others, and external evaluation becomes fundamental. This leads to the fact that children try to earn praise at all costs, gradually losing the ability to enjoy the process, concentrating on the result. For example, it is necessary to draw a picture only for their mother to admire their ability to draw.
Dependence on praise becomes a kind of a trap for children and adults. At some point, praise turns into an excellent means of manipulating and controlling the child’s behavior. But this is when it is important to think about whether the desired behavior is appropriate for the child’s age? For example, many parents like it when the baby sits quietly and does not scream, but for him to sit still is unnatural. And then what is very desirable, but disapproved of by parents is perceived as something bad. In addition, evaluative statements of a general nature violate the principle of unconditional acceptance. In the mind of the child a logical chain is built up – “I’m good when I do it this way, not that way, then I am loved and praised. So if I do it differently, I will be bad, I will not be loved.
Thus, incorrect wording and general phrases and 6th grade math workbook can lead to unexpected results:
To arouse insecurity and make the child doubt the sincerity of the parents, to suspect deception. “Does he/she really think so?”
To arouse self-doubt – and rebuttal: “Mom says I cut out the circles very well, but I didn’t cut out evenly, it didn’t turn out well…”
Concentrate the child’s attention on his or her shortcomings, to arouse guilt: “Mum praised me for an A, she said I was good, but she doesn’t know that I cheated on a test. The child can feel that actually he or she does not reach the parental ideal – and is not so good at all.
To cause anxiety, because of the fact that he or she will not be able to meet the parents’ expectations: “What if next time I fail, I won’t be so good?”
Regularly hearing generalized praise informs the child that his or her innate abilities are all he or she has, and that everything he or she needs is inherent in nature. This naturally diminishes the child’s developmental attitude.
What is descriptive praise?
Of course, all of these words are firmly embedded in our speech and are used almost unconsciously. What, then, should parents do? Stop praising altogether? Of course not! Praise is a must. But in order for it to do good, to help create in a child a positive and realistic image of himself or herself, it is best to use descriptive praise. This is easy, the main thing is to understand the algorithm:
When you feel like praising your child, tell him or her what you see. For example: “You packed your own things for school today, put all your textbooks and notebooks neatly in your briefcase, didn’t forget your pencil case and even put your gym uniform in a bag.”
Share with him how you feel about what you see: “I’m so glad that everything is packed in advance, it’s very nice when you don’t have to rush to pack in the morning!”
Summarize the praise with a collective word that reflects the behavior you approve of: “That’s what I call being collected and responsible!”
By praising your child in this way, you’ll make sure that he or she begins to see himself or herself as capable, good, coping, and that’s many times more important than what others think of him or her. After all, adequate self-esteem is formed on the basis of what we think of ourselves.