Friday, 22 February 2013

How to 'acknowledge' your kids rather than praising them - and why

Each Friday I'll be sharing a new video with you about parenting. Today is my first go at it... hopefully you'll enjoy it. Any questions? Ask them in the comments below and I'll do my best to answer them promptly.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I often say to my 5 y o daughter (who has just started school) things like "I'm really proud of the way you unpacked your bag by yourself/finished your reader/brushed your hair"..etc, is that an acknowledgement or is that still praise? I'm not trying to say she is particularly "good" at brushing her hair, I'm just happy that she is doing it. ?
This is a fantastic blog by the way-I am loving it! Have signed up for your newsletter as well, after seeing you on The Project tonight.

Justin Coulson said...

Hi! Thanks for your comment.

The 'really proud' part may sound evaluative in some cases. It can signal that you are only proud of your daughter when she satisfies what you like.

What we're ideally looking for is a mixture of appreciation and description. And it's ALWAYS about the process and effort, and not about the outcome.

"It looks like you've worked pretty hard to get your room looking this tidy."
"I watched you swimming/running and you looked like you gave it everything you had."
"Your teacher tells me you've been working really hard in class."

I also really strongly encourage asking the child how they feel:

"How does it feel when you look at this work you've done?"
"What do you prefer? The room looking like this (tidy) or like it as earlier?"
"What are you doing in class lately to make Mr/Mrs _____ so appreciative of having you there?"

And so on. Hope that clarifies it a little bit for you,

Anonymous said...

Thanks Heaps for that, I will give these strategies a go.

Dave Coultas said...

Great video but the background music is too loud. :)