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The Power of Praise

Anyone who has been praised understands how wonderful it is to be recognized for the great things they have done. Children, not unlike adults, thrive on the knowledge that they have done a good job. For parents, especially those raising kids in preschool or kindergarten. Praise is an important parenting tool. The reinforcement of good behavior through various forms of praise can help children learn what is and is not acceptable and is a great way to be a positive parent.

Recognize Your Kids' Efforts and Behaviors

When utilizing praise as a parenting tool, it is important that an "A for effort" is given even if the end result is not completely what your child intended it to be. Praise is a reward and as such should reinforce all good behavior. Some parents are scared of praising their kids too much, but if they learn the correct way to encourage their children and guide their toddlers toward the behaviors that they deem acceptable, parents can utilize praise effectively. By following these tips, children and parents can both benefit from praise:

  • Don't be stingy with the compliments. As toddlers grow they work hard to figure out the behaviors that are expected of them. By encouraging great behavior, even if your preschooler or kindergartener can only sustain it for a short length of time, you can reinforce the actions that will lead your children to behaving properly.
  • Make it worth it. Many parents utilize different forms of praise, from hugs and kisses to a small treat for a job well done. The key is to understand your child and know what form of praise will work best. This may take some trial and error, but will be well worth it in the end.
  • Use Star Charts so to make rewarding good behavior fun. Have your child apply a star every time they behave well.
  • Beware of the praise addict. Many children, especially those given praise in the form of treats, begin to repeat the same good behavior in an effort to get what they want. To keep your child from using the system against you, try and change up your methods of praise.

Lead by Example

Every child has a hero, and more often than not that hero is a parent. By ensuring your actions are in line with what you expect from your children you can reinforce the values that you teach and refrain from causing confusion. Toddlers are very impressionable, so make sure that your actions reflect those you would expect from your child. And always remember to show your love and support through praise!