Posts Tagged Acknowledgments

3 Ways to Promote Responsibility

In many areas of the country, school is going back into session this week after the customary winter break. If you’ve resolved to focus on promoting responsibility with your students this year, here are three simple steps to kick start the process. After you see some results from these suggestions, come back to this blog for more ways to promote responsibility in youth, which naturally decreases discipline issues.

1. Teach students to ask themselves questions: Encourage students to ask themselves questions. The questioning process starts the thinking process. When students begin to ask themselves “Why?” and “How?” questions, both alertness and interest increase. There are only three things we are more likely to answer than a question—the telephone, the doorbell, … >>>


Acknowledgments vs. Praise

Acknowledgments encourage and motivate. They serve to give recognition without the disadvantages of giving praise.

Praise has a price. It implies a lack of acceptance and worth when a youth does not behave as the adult wishes. Using a phrase that starts with “I like . . .” encourages a young person to behave IN ORDER TO PLEASE THE ADULT. By contrast, acknowledgments affirm while fostering self-satisfaction. 

Notice the difference in the following examples: 

  • “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 your grades,” versus “Your grades show you are
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Use Acknowledgments More than Praise

Acknowledgments and praise are not the same. Praise is judgmental and infers parental approval. In contrast, acknowledgments simply recognize.

You may ask, “What’s wrong with praise?” Although intended to be a positive reinforcement, praise creates certain pitfalls that acknowledgments do not. For example, praise is conditional upon the judgment of the person giving the praise. It is usually given because the adult feels a desire to approve some behavior. However, what is truly important is for children to receive self-satisfaction without the need for adult approval.

Acknowledgments accomplish the intent of praise but without praise’s disadvantages. Acknowledgments foster feelings of being worthwhile without relying on the approval of others. The long range effect of acknowledgments is to engender self-confidence and … >>>