Encourage more if you want confident kids
- Posted by:
- Michael Grose
Encouragement is a far more powerful esteem-building tool than praise and it doesn’t have the adverse side effects. The differences are slim but important.
Encouragement focuses on the process of what a child does whereas praise focuses on the end result. Encouraging comments focus on effort, improvement, involvement, enjoyment, contribution or displays confidence whereas praise concerns itself with good results.
An encouraging parent gives children feedback about their performance but they ensure the feedback is realistic and they work from positives rather than negatives.
An encouraging parent will note a child’s efforts in toilet-training and recognise that mistakes are part of the learning process so they are not too fussed about the results. Praise however is saved for a clean nappy and a full potty.
Encouragement recognises that a child is participating and enjoying a game while praise focuses on winning or a fine performance. Okay, the differences are academic and it may seem like splitting hairs but the results on the potty, in a game or even at the kitchen table should concern children more than they do adults.
As soon as we become more concerned about results than children we move into areas of children’s concern and out of areas of our concern. In short, praise is about control and encouragement is about influence.
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