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How Should we Praise Young Children

Research suggests that we keep "in mind our long-term goals for our children" and "watch for the effects of what we say." 

A lot of research has shown that "process praise" motivates children to work hard, learn, explore and have a healthy outlook on their abilities." You worked so hard on that."

"You gave it your best." " You can try again another day." 

In addition, praise that is sincere and conveys realistic expectations can promote a child's self-motivation.

Describe your child's behavior and effort, paying positive attention to appropriate behavior that is valued. This can be effective.

Avoid praise for low-challenge activities or error-free success.

Be careful when praising after failure or mistake.

Praise must be sincere. Choose age appropriate. activities.Don't task a child to work too far beyond their developmental level. This is defeating. Investigate when your child should be able to throw and catch a ball, jump rope, ride a bike. 

Provide natural consequences.Shielding a school age child from failure is not in their best interest. When s/he fails at something, let the child be sad over the loss. Verbally process the sadness, not the failure. " I know it's hard when we don't do it as well as we would like." 

The child's developmental stage is always important!!!

Ultimately, we want to encourage our children to be self-motivated and to embrace challenge… and that means not making them dependent on praise.

For more information or further resources, seek out any literature written by Dan Siegel, MD.

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