When we deliver praise that is detailed and specifically targeting a certain behavior, it increases the reinforcing value of a positive statement, and helps our children gain confidence and self worth. Instead of throwing out a “good job!” Or “nice work!” Try to think of something more direct, sincere and encouraging.
Offering specific praise helps our kiddos identify and develop unique skills and behaviors that they possess within themselves. It’s also a good idea to follow a “good job” with “did you have fun doing that?” Or “are you proud of yourself?” So often, kids perform to gain approval from or to appease adults. Let’s teach them to do things because it brings them joy and a sense of self-satisfaction and pride.
If you feel like your kid is trying hard to learn a new skill or to modify a negative behavior, encourage them by letting them know you have their back. Draw them in. “You’re working so hard on staying calm! Next time let’s try to take some deep breaths. I’m here for you.” Even if they push you away (with their words or actions) always let them know you are their safe space.