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ID number:723647
Published: 19.12.2011.
Language: English
Level: Secondary school
Literature: n/a
References: Not used

Praise is a valuable shaper; children want to please you and keep your approval. Yet, you can easily overdo it. Praise the behavior, not the person. Praises like "good girl" or "good boy" risk misinterpretation and are best reserved for training pets. These labels are too heavy for some children. ("If I don't do well, does that mean I'm bad?") Better is: "You did a good job cleaning your room." "That's a good decision." "I like the way you used lots of color in this picture." The child will see that the praise is sincere since you made the effort to be specific; it shows that you're paying attention. For quickies try "Great job!" or "Way to go!" or even "Yesss!" To avoid the "I'm valued by my performance" trap, acknowledge the act and let the child conclude the act is praiseworthy. If you praise every other move the child makes he will either get addicted to praise, or wonders why you are so desperate to make him feel good about himself. Be realistic. You don't have to praise, or even acknowledge, things he just does for the joy of it, for his own reasons. …

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