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10 Ways to Give Positive Encouragement to Your Child

As a parent, what you say to your child is important. Take time to offer words of encouragement—your child may be happier and healthier because of the kind words you say to them.

Giving kids positive encouragement, infographic 

Be sincere

When you give praise, make sure it’s honest; otherwise your child won’t believe you. Instead of saying something like, “You’re perfect,” instead say, “Your artwork is really creative and colorful.”

Be specific

Positive encouragement is a way of providing feedback, so general praise isn’t as effective as specific praise. Saying, “You did such a good job” isn’t as meaningful as “You were so brave on stage today. You really were great at making eye contact and singing loudly.”

Praise the process

Children aren’t all the same, so judging by outcome can be damaging, especially when what comes easily to one child takes another child more effort. It’s important to compliment your son or daughter on effort and determination, not just the final result.

Avoid comparisons 

Your child is unlike any other kid on earth, so avoid saying things like, “You’re as good as your sister at drawing” or “You’re great at softball, just like Tom.”

Spend time with them 

Nothing is more encouraging than a parent who takes time to connect with his or her child. Sit down and read a book together, play together, or just take the time to genuinely listen: all provide encouragement and show you love your kid.

Put the fridge to good use

Celebrate your child’s achievements. That means hanging up artwork, going for ice cream after a great soccer game, or even giving a big hug for a good grade.

Be a role model 

Your children look to you as an example for just about everything. When you’re an example of a healthy, happy adult, you’re encouraging your children to follow in your footsteps.

Provide responsibility

Giving your child chores encourages a self of independence and helps them become more well-adjusted adults. A job well done also gives you an opportunity to praise your child.

Acknowledge feelings 

Small kids still have very big feelings. Acknowledging your child’s feelings encourages healthier emotions and provides a safe space for expressing those feelings.

Provide rewards

From stickers awarded for potty training to a small toy given for a week’s worth of completed chores, providing rewards provides encouragement and motivation.

Related: 5 Steps to Reduce High Blood Pressure

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