Posts Tagged Praise versus Acknowledgments

Stop Praising Students

praising studentsPraise is patronizing, so stop praising students. Praise also has a price. It implies a lack of acceptance and worth when the 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, acknowledgment simply affirms and fosters self-satisfaction in the young person.

Notice the difference in the following examples of praising students versus acknowledging them:

Praise: “I am so pleased with the way you treated your brother.”

Acknowledgment: “You treated your brother very well.”

Praise: “I like the way you are working.”

Acknowledgment: “Your working shows good focus and control.”

Praise: “I’m so proud of you for your … >>>


How to Turn Praise into Acknowledgment

Most people were raised hearing praise statements, and now that they are adults they give praise to their children and students today. However, as is discussed in Discipline Without Stress and Parenting Without Stress, acknowledgments are far better than praise. But how do you turn off the urge to praise? How do you turn praise into productive comments that encourage and acknowledge all who are choosing to do the right thing? After all, sometimes, it seems to be an automatic reaction to say “Good job!” just for the sake of saying something.

Realize that changing praise into an acknowledgement is nothing more than a ‘twist’ in thinking, a small adjustment in how you phrase things. Instead of heaping on … >>>