Praising Your Child

Darryl Bachmeier
Jun 10, 2020

The word ‘praise’ also interchangeably used with the word ‘reward’ is a type of social engagement often practised to indicate encouragement, approval, and appreciation. It is demonstrated by verbal communication, for example through motivational phrases of speech, as well as by non-verbal communication such as a pat on the back, or a gold star for children. When it comes to children, the impacts of rewarding them for their actions can significantly enhance positive behaviours amongst them.

Raising happy, confident, and emotionally stable individuals is something all parents should aim to achieve. To accomplish this, the physical development of a child should be stimulated alongside progress in their emotional wellbeing.

Children urge the need to be loved and given attention to and are driven by rewards. Praise itself is a token of gratitude that children value and cherish; they realise the simple rule of life that righteousness is an acceptable social norm, whereas unfavourable behaviours are frowned upon. Therefore, praising children is an essential aspect of child-rearing and must be done in the right way.

Listed below are some ways to positively reinforce children in a way that is beneficial for them:

Convey the praise in a caring and cheerful way

This allows the praise to be more personal and enhance the bond between the child and the person communicating. If the words were presented with a negative tone, the child would think that the positive words of encouragement have a negative connotation.

Be Specific

It is important to be specific while giving praise to the child, for example, “I love how well you drew this picture of a house” or “I’m so happy that you finished all food on your plate”. Such phrases ensure that the words spoken to the child are elaborate and hold meaning since they are directed to exactly what the child has done. Phrases such as “You are the worlds best boy” or “You’re the prettiest girl in the world” just sets them up for inevitable dissatisfaction.

Don’t overdue it

As established, praising the child is beneficial; however, if it is done too much, it will lose its value. It can also poorly affect the child psychologically as they may be under immense pressure always to do good to avoid disappointing anyone. It can also establish self-consciousness and behaviours that showcase seeking validation.


Rewarding children does not only include praising them verbally; however, it can also be done by increasing their participation in household activities or assigning them chores to give them a sense of responsibility and confidence. Asking them to help cook in the kitchen, water the plants, or make their bed provides the child with a sense of independence and belief in themselves and their capabilities. Nevertheless, it is crucial to give the child with achievable tasks so that they can attain their rewards.

Praise the best behaviours

Parents who praise their youngsters’ work and determination reinforce their flexibility. The work put in by the child is the main activity that the praise needs to be focused towards. Not every child may succeed at what they do, and so to keep them motivated, their attempts towards painting a picture or cleaning their room or baking in the kitchen need to be noticed and appreciated.

Since the way the praise is communicated to the child has been covered, it is essential to realise the ample benefits that come along with it.

Children are at the stage of life where their brains are being moulded and developed into learning the correct way of social interaction; with rewards being provided during times of approval, a child is bound to know the acceptable norms of society and fit in to be a good Samaritan.

The encouragement boosts self-confidence and makes them assertive people who are willing to try new things, if not succeed at them. The child will have a more “Yes I can” attitude rather than “I’m too scared even to try” type of outlook towards certain things as they do not get easily discouraged.

Continuing the idea from the last point, enhancing a child’s self-esteem plays a vital role in shaping their character for their future. Children raised in a more encouraging and friendly household tend to turn into adults with a positive perspective of the world and things happening around them. Productivity is an added benefit that stems from the root of essential praise during infancy.

Some may say that parenting can be considered to be even more difficult than childbirth itself. However, small actions and stamps of approval go a long way in, resulting in a positive effect on children. Kids are extremely pure souls, and with the proper nurturing environment, their loving nature and hunger for validation encourage them to better themselves.

It is an obvious fact that words significantly affect every single person; however, to our youngsters, inspirational statements and commendation can prompt them into accomplishing achievements and increasing their self-esteem. A cheerful greeting, a hug, a warm smile, a basic embrace, or a high-five can establish pride in children. As kids grow, picking up an endorsement from a parent turns out to be significant in their lives.

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