HomeAcademics & ActivitiesAcademic Skills

How to praise young children

Page 2 of 2

By GreatSchools Staff

The situation: Without you asking, your child cleans up his room all by himself.
Praising the accomplishment: “You cleaned up your room! What a good boy.”
Praising the effort: “I really appreciate that you cleaned up your room. I can see it took a lot of work to put all your clothes and toys away.”

The situation: Your child has built an elaborate block city.
Praising the accomplishment: “Wow! That’s the most amazing block structure I’ve ever seen! You’re going to be a world-famous architect.”
Praising the effort: “Look at how many blocks are in your city! I can tell you worked really hard on building this. I can tell you worked really hard on it, but it must have been a lot of fun to build.”

The situation: You’re taking your child to a family get-together. He or she has bathed, combed their hair, and gotten dressed in their best outfit.
Praising the accomplishment: “You are the most handsome boy I’ve ever seen in my life!” or “You are the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen in my life!”
Praising the effort: “I know you don’t always like having your hair washed. But now that you’ve made such an effort to get all cleaned up and put your nicest outfit on, you sure do look fancy and ready to go to the party!”

Comments from readers

"I think this is somewhat related to the whole issue concerning every kid gets a trophy which was started years ago. We are not being sincere with our kids. It puts a false sense of accomplishment in their head. I never got trophies or ribbons unless I truly placed or earned them. I realized that some kids were better and I was fine with that. It just made me try harder. "
"I dont think it is because of praising him why he is failing.I would talk to him first and find out what is going on in his mind. he may not like that school and want to go back to his old school. he may not want to hurt your feeling as his mother.please pray to God about this problem because only God and your son know what is going on in side his brian. I wish you both God favor. I hope and pray that things get better."
" I think this article is very important. And I think, it's better just to be sincere with what we say, and be condescending with our children´s feeling, if that is what it is important to us. The accomplishment, I think, doesn't have to be so over-elaborated. Just point to the reality in a positive way, a way they can learn from their efforts and work, or their qualities, and make them better or progressive in time and lasting."