We all want to praise children for doing good things. But not all praise is created equal. The following points address how to effectively praise children.
1. If you would not use the same praise to an adult, resist using it with a young person.
2. Eliminate starting with, “I’m so pleased that….” The inference is that the youngster’s motivation is to please YOU.
Here is an alternative to praise: acknowledgments. They are more effective than praise and accomplish what you want without praise’s disadvantage.
(Please keep in mind that I am NOT suggesting NEVER praise children; just keep it to a minimum and acknowledge more.)
Saying, “I’m so proud of you for doing your work” implies that the student … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Acknowledgments encourage and motivate. They serve to give recognition without the disadvantages of praise. Praise has a price. It implies a lack of acceptance and worth when the youth does not behave as the adult wishes. Using a phrase which starts with, “I like . . . .” encourages a young person to behave in order to please the adult. By contrast, acknowledgment simply affirms and fosters self-satisfaction.
Notice the difference in the following examples, first of praise followed by acknowledgment. “I am so pleased with the way you treated your brother,” versus “You treated your brother with real consideration.” “I like the way you are working,” versus “Your working shows good effort.” “I’m so proud of you for … >>> READ MORE >>> →
The great American humorist Will Rogers said, “As long as you live, you’ll never find a method so effective in getting through to another person as having that person feel important.” He was right. When you make people feel important, you get their cooperation.
Realize that Rogers was not talking about insincere flattery. He was referring to getting in the habit of recognizing how important people are. This should obviously apply to your children.
Here’s a famous story that illustrates the power of making someone feel important.
Cavett Robert, the founder of the National Speakers Association, looked out his window one morning and saw a skinny 12-year-old boy going door-to-door selling books. The boy was headed for his house. Robert … >>> READ MORE >>> →
I’ve learned a great lesson from my teaching partner, Darlene, who has wonderful “people skills.” We share a grade one class. She begins the year with a quick phone call to every family, starting with those children who look like they may eventually have some behavior issues. She simply asks the parents to let her know how the child is adjusting to school and whether or not they feel comfortable coming. The parents are happy to have this conversation and are encouraged by it.
By starting home phone calls so quickly, she generally has only positive comments to make––usually kids are on their best behavior on the first days of school! This gets her off on the right … >>> READ MORE >>> →
I have 5 kids in my second grade class who take most of my attention because of their misbehavior. I feel so badly for the other students who are on task and listening, because honestly, they don’t get very much of my attention. I try to point out what Level D looks like and give these great students more freedom but still I don’t feel that’s enough. How can let these wonders know that they are being wonderful?
We often had discussions about this on my staff years ago. Some of us were starting to feel uncomfortable with rewards, awards and trophies etc., but our principal at the time felt that the “good kids never got anything.” He … >>> READ MORE >>> →
I have a 3rd grade student who is demonstrating increasingly
disruptive behaviors. I have all kinds
of support with him – my principal, school counselor,
behavioral specialist – we’re all involved, every day. This boy can work elsewhere when he can’t manage in the classroom. My question is this: How do I
teach the other students that it’s better for them to
ignore this student’s behavior than to be an audience or worse yet, play along? I need some “choice
words” to really explain it and underscore the importance of this.
They did a great job today and I complimented
them on doing so after the student had been removed from the room. A couple of them asked me … >>> READ MORE >>> →
I have just read the book and plan to implement Discipline without Stress in this coming school year. I anticipate that I might have a problem with giving into the urge to praise individuals or the class as a whole. I can see myself saying, “Look at these students who have been on Level C and D all week! I’m so proud of you guys for following directions!” How do I turn off these urges to praise? How can I turn praise into productive comments that encourage and acknowledge all who are choosing to do the right thing? Please share any insights!
RESPONSE FROM TANIS CARTER:
(Shared on the Discipline without Stress Mailring)
Take heart! You are well … >>> READ MORE >>> →