No such thing as too much praise
Most parents praise their children for displaying good behaviour, but do we praise children enough? There are some myths that children receive too much praise and encouragement. But it’s the driving factor for children to behave well.
Any opportunity to praise your child gives them attention, meaning they receive recognition for positives rather than relying on having to do something negative to get noticed.
Think about your own household and the things your children do on a daily basis – tying shoe laces, brushing teeth, tasks that we may simply expect our children to do. These are also key opportunities.
Ideas for giving praise:
Positive encouragement doesn’t always have to be verbal. Smiles, thumbs up, a hug, a wink are all forms of positive communication that can remind your child they are behaving well and that they have your attention for being good. Verbal praise works best when it is specific. Tell your child exactly what it is that you like them doing, for example: “Well done for picking up your toys without me asking.”
Sometimes it is useful for parents to have a think about how many times they praise their child – writing it down can be a good way of keeping track.
Reflect on any opportunities you may have missed, good behaviour you may not have noticed or have come to expect. The idea is to catch them being good at as many opportunities as you can.
Making a small change to the amount of praise given can make a huge difference in children’s behaviour. Encouraging all of the behaviour you want to see means it is more likely to happen again.
That’s not just good for the child – it is also beneficial for parents to focus on positive things your children are doing, as it helps shift thoughts away from any negative behaviour.
Community Family Care, based at Staunton, Gloucestershire helps families, children and young people in need of additional support. It seeks to improve parents’ confidence, help with routines to get children to school, or more complex support dealing with challenging behaviours at home. Staff carry out peer mentoring, life coaching and family support programmes. www.communityfamilycare.co.uk