Parents usually understand the need of praising child. But most of them don’t have much idea about the effective manner, timing and frequency of praising child. Studies and literature also have different opinion about this. Some experts recommend that we shall praise freely and lavishly, on the other hand few warn not to overdo the applause.

Both of the opinions seem correct as experts have strong premise to prove their argument.

First set of experts says it’s very important to praise children as it;

  • encourages them to improve
  • keeps them motivated
  • boosts their self esteem and confidence
  • helps get right behaviour repeated

Second set of experts warn not to praise too much because;

  • child will find it difficult to judge his/her work accurately
  • the more praise children receive, the more they rely on adult evaluations instead of forming their own judgments
  • they afraid to take risks and try new things for fear of not always being on top.
  • it can also lead to some children becoming overconfident
  • There is a great debate among experts about the effects of praise on children. This debate is not about praising or not praising rather difference of opinion is because of way of praise and amount of praise.

So let’s discuss five key points which will help us to draw a balanced approach.

1. Be Specific when Praising

Praise is much more than only saying “Good Boy” or “Good Girl”, be specific about what the praise is for. When you are not specific, they have a hard time understanding exactly what it is they have done well. Instead of saying “Wow, you did a great art work” say “Your choice of red & yellow colour has made this work great”

This way your child will also get to know that you are noticing his/her work, and will encourages him/her to do more.

2. Praise the efforts not only results

You can always point out improvement no matter how small e.g. “You really have picked up on your reading…Appreciate”. Highlight their effort “I can see you really tried hard to get it right”

If you are looking for improvement then you need to praise the efforts and don’t need to wait for results to praise. Praising efforts can encourage your child to try hard in the future.

3. Praise must be genuine and sincere

Keep it real: Don’t say, “Good job!” when it’s not. Even young kids can see right through false praise. Praise should reflect the amount of effort the child put in. Earned praise reinforces your child’s effort and is encouraging.

4. Praise the process/behaviour rather than the Child

“You’re such a good player” or “You have such a beautiful singing voice.” Be careful with this kind of praise which tends to focus on their inborn strengths/abilities. If he believes he arrived prepackaged with certain abilities, he might think he doesn’t need to improve in those areas.

It’s better to focus on process. In Process-based praise emphasize on what he can control, such as how much time he spends on a project or which strategies he uses.

“I am so impressed at how hard you worked on your science project” is more empowering than “Wow, you’re good at science !”

5. Accentuate the Positive

Respond to wanted behaviors of your child more than you punish unwanted behaviors. The key to getting great results is to pay attention to “what’s going right” rather than “what’s going wrong”

Try to eliminate constant negativity around and put the focus on all the wonderful, positive things your children are doing instead. Catch them doing right things and appreciate them immediately.

Praising your child is an art and you can master it by practicing above stated five points.

Happy Parenting !!

Manish Sharma

Parenting Coach

Too much of anything is not good and this also stands true about exposure of Media available today to kids. I have been receiving numerous queries from parents in this regard:

  • What shall be the permissible limit to play video games?
  • To which extent shall we allow our kids to watch TV
  • How to differentiate their viewing of educational videos from entertainment videos?

Good part about this problem is that parents at least started realizing that problem exists. Let’s  discuss how to address this issue.

Rules for TV watching:

  1. Separate Viewing from Chewing:

If you allow your child to watch television while eating meal, it might make your child become heavily dependent upon it. Research shows that the particular combination of eating while watching something is a strong motivator to get your kids hooked to TV.

  1. Decide What is allowed to be watched:

Children can easily hook upon a movie or a TV series that aren’t meant for them. This is why it is imperative that you decide what is best for your child. It shall be age appropriate.

  1. Set a Family Time for watching TV

Have time when you and your kids can enjoy a fun family movie once in a while. This will give you the chance to interact with your kids and spend some quality time together.

  1. Kid’s room should not have the TV

TV does keep kids out of your way when you’re busy, but giving your kids a separate television for their rooms is simply asking for trouble. Your kids are more likely to find and watch inappropriate programs and you will not be able to control what they watch, and the amount of time they spend on the TV.

Rules for Video Games:

  1. Having fun with video games should only be allowed after children have taken care of other responsibilities. For example, parents are strongly advised to set a rule that video games can only be played after homework is completed (and completed with effort).

 

  1.  Access to computer/video games should be viewed as an earned privilege, not an automatic right.
  2.  Keep computers and gadgets out of a child’s bedroom. It is much easier to limit computer gaming (and monitor online activity) if computers are in open spaces or family rooms. To ensure children not getting addicted to computer games this is perhaps the first step parents should take.
  3. Children addicted to computer games will happily play for hours at a time. Although this can provide valuable free time for busy moms and dads, parents need to make sure that computer games are not their child’s primary activity or form of entertainment.

What’s Recommended?

  • Toddlers up to 18 months old: No Screen time
  • Toddlers up to 18 months to 24 months: Some Screen time with a parent or caregiver.
  • Preschoolers: Not more than 1 hour a day of educational program, together with a parent or other caregiver who can help them understand what they’re watching.
  • Children above 5 years: Parents should place consistent limits on screen time, which includes TV, social media and video games.

       

Board Games & Outdoor Games:

Encourage your child to get engaged in other activities that are more beneficial to them in both ways mentally and physically. Kids should be doing things that are intellectually enriching: playing with board games, playing with dice, playing with things that will improve their motor skills, reading skills, logics, visual ability & concentration. You need to have at least 4-5 different board games at home, 1-2 single player games and 2-3 multi-player games.

Spare time to play with your child. Cherish these moments.

Manish Sharma

Parenting Coach