Speak the Language of Encouragement

encourageThe 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?”

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