We all like to be patted on the back. Recognition for a job well done or commendation from someone who’s noticed improvement in us is always appreciated and encourages us to keep doing our best.
As a mom, I need constant reminders to praise my children. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in what they need to correct that I forget to focus on the positive things that they do.
I’ve been re-reading portions of Different Children, Different Needs by Dr. Charles Boyd. This valuable book helps parents understand their children’s personalities and offers effective ways to interact with them. One chapter includes the following three steps to descriptive praise. I’m purposing once again to put this into practice! Here’s how the author characterizes it.
1. Describe what you see. “Hannah, you’ve done a great job cleaning off the dining room table.” My child knows that I recognize exactly what she’s done.
2. If possible, describe how you feel. “I appreciate your working hard to make the room so neat.”
3. Sum up the positive strength in one or two words. “You were diligent about finishing that chore.” This is a big one for me. It makes the praise about who my child is, not just about what she has done. I want her to understand that she has specific character qualities that the Lord can develop in her and that she can use to serve others.
Do you use this type of specific praise with your children?