Praise means giving approval. It comes with value words like “good, very good and excellent.” Adult approval is very powerful for children. However, it is not always the best.
To avoid creating a dependency on adult approval, reserve praise for major accomplishments.
As you point out and notice as many positive occurrences as you can, you are encouraging.
* For a drawing your child is working on, describe beautiful colors.
* For a tower your child is building, point out well-placed blocks.
* For a puzzle your child is doing, reflect on a difficult piece well-placed.
Implicit in this process is creating the opportunity for self-praise. Here are some examples:
“I used beautiful colors. Good for me.”
“I placed the blocks well. Good for me.”
“I put in a hard piece of the puzzle. Good for me.”
Self-praise, not adult praise, is the most powerful praise of all!