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How to praise elementary schoolers

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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: “It’s clear it took a lot of work to put all your clothes and toys away. I really love seeing such a clean room.”

The situation: Your child has painted you a coffee cup for your birthday.
Praising the accomplishment: “This cup is so beautiful!”
Praising the effort: “I can tell you spent a lot of time on this cup. And you painted it my favorite colors — purple and red. I’m going to drink from it every morning.”

The situation: Your child has a big speaking role in the school show.
Praising the accomplishment: “You were the best one in the show! You’re going to be a big star some day!”
Praising the effort: “It was so exciting seeing you up there on stage. All the time you spent memorizing your lines really paid off. You spoke with such confidence that I was convinced you were an astronaut.”