As parents, it’s always important to know ways to praise good behavior in children. You want your children to know right from wrong, and be encouraged to behave properly. There are many ways we can directly and subtly praise good behavior. We want to avoid using punishment, but rather redirection for bad behaviors.
Dr. Reena Becerra’s YouTube video provides educational information about reinforcement, punishment, and praising behaviors with children. This blog is meant to inspire ways that you can begin praising children for good behaviors!
Imagine you see your child making friends and playing nicely. Perhaps they are sharing toys and treating the other child with respect. You want to praise your child for acting this way, and let them know that you’re proud to watch that. Maybe they were able to work on a tough homework assignment, such as math or writing. It’s important to you that you communicate your praise to your child.
When we encourage our children to behave well, it inspires them to continue utilizing that behavior in the future. It will make them feel good knowing that they are being praised, and it can help boost their confidence!
We want to encourage them to be their very best, focusing more on how we can enhance that. We want to stray away from punishments, such as spanking. It’s important to understand what methods are most successful in helping your child behave in a positive manner.
At the end of the day, it’s always a great idea to connect with a family therapist to understand ways that you can grow as a parent. Or, ways that the family can grow together as a whole!
3 Ways to Praise Good Behavior in Children: Express your approval with actions or words of encouragement
It can be easy to let positive behavior go unnoticed. Using praise is a very simple and effective way to encourage good behavior. You’ll want to make sure to give praise immediately following the desired behavior. This associates your praise with their learning that they should behave a certain way.
You can express your approval with actions or words of encouragement. While verbal praise is good, physical praise can be better. You can do this by giving them a gentle pat on the back or through giving them a thumbs up! Showing physical affection is a great way to bond with your child and let them know that they are loved.
This can also be a smile, a thumbs up, or a high five. It can be powerful for your child to be praised through these simple actions.
Verbal praise can look like expressing, “Great job!” or “That was awesome!”. Let them know that their behavior is recognized and appreciated. They will also feel more confident in what they are doing. And look to continue that behavior.
If they avoided engaging in negative behaviors, such as whining, you can let them know how great they did in not whining. This can look like “I’m proud of you for staying calm when you had to wait your turn for a treat”.
Overall, you want this to be genuine too. Avoid labels or making them feel like they are better than the other kids. If they’re playing a sport, rather than saying “You’re the fastest runner” try saying “You run so fast!”. Make the praise personal and individual to them, without putting others down.
3 Ways to Praise Good Behavior in Children: Describe what positive behavior you liked
While you’re on the playground with your child, it’s possible that you are watching them from a distance. Maybe they are playing with sand buckets or just playing tag with others on the playground. You notice that they are sharing their toys and being gentle with their hands. Before, they may have struggled with ripping toys away or shoving/hitting.
You want your child to know that you really like what you are seeing! Their behavior makes you proud, therefore it should make them feel proud. Being able to let them know shortly after they do it, helps them recognize that behavior and tie it into their memory.
Perhaps after you see them share their toy, you can call out, or walk up to them to talk. You can bend down to say, “I really liked seeing you share just now, that was great!”, and continue to let them engage in play.
Be specific in what you are wanting to point out to your child. Make sure to give the feedback as soon as possible as well.
3 Ways to Praise Good Behavior in Children: Use tangible rewards to encourage future behavior
Using tangible rewards such as cookies or sweets is a great way to encourage children. You can offer it as a reward for completed chores or desired behaviors. Or, rewards can even be surprises for them!
You don’t want to get in the habit of needing to bribe your kids with cookies. Rather, if you notice a positive behavior, you can bring it up for them. Perhaps they were able to put all of their toys away after play time. You can surprise them by saying, “I really liked how you cleaned your toys away! Would you like to get ice cream after dinner tonight?”.
In the end, try to use praise more than criticism for your child. Encourage them to be excited about their own interests, and guide them through proper behavior around it!
Consider seeking out a child therapist for extra support as well. Child psychologists in Simi Valley are experienced in guiding parents with effective techniques in praising good behavior. They will also work closely with your child to understand their internal struggles and ways to support them.
About Simi Psychological Group: We are a team of psychologists and therapists in Simi Valley, Ca offering an array of therapy services.
At our therapy practice in Simi Valley, Ca we offer Child therapy and family counseling, Teen therapy, Anxiety Treatment, Depression Therapy, Marriage Counseling, and Neuropsychological Testing. Now Offering Online Therapy in Los Angeles and Online Counseling Ventura County