The Parent Institute knows that there are good and GREAT ways to build confidence in your child. Here’s what the Institute has to say on the difference between praise ( a good way) and encouragement (a great way):
Most parents enjoy praising their children with words like “good job!” and “that looks great!” But research shows that encouragement that has a bigger effect than praise on a child’s motivation.
So, what is the difference between praise and encouragement? They do sound like the same thing—but they are not.
- Discusses results. “Great work on the science quiz! You got an A!”
- Uses opinion words such as “good,” “great,” “terrific,” and “wonderful.”
- Is typically given when the child has performed as you had hoped she would.
- Notices effort and progress. “Look at that paper! I can tell you’ve spent a lot of time on it. It must feel good to know you worked so hard!”
- Uses descriptive words. “You cleaned the bathroom without being asked. “Look at that shiny sink! I can see myself in it!”
- Can be given regardless of the child’s performance. “That didn’t work out the way you planned, did it? I can tell you’re disappointed, but I know you’ll try again next week. What do you think you might do differently?”