Praise and encouragement are forms of positive reinforcement. When you praise or encourage your child you are giving their brains a reward response that makes them feel good on the inside. As you continue to reinforce through praise and encouragement, your child will want to continue doing the action over and over again to get that positive reward response. Overtime, your child will begin to see that this action is positive and will continue to do action even if praise or encouragement is not given immediately afterward.
Praising and encouraging your child for small, as well as big accomplishments will help increase self-esteem and reinforce positive behavior. Below is a list of 3 steps to healthy praising:
1. Notice the positive action—See your daughter give her younger brother the last pack of cookies from the kitchen cabinet.
2. Tell your child what you noticed—“Susie, I saw you give your brother the last pack of cookies…”
3. Praise the effort not the result or their ability—“…that was very thoughtful of you.”