7 Positive Ways To Encourage Kids Using Words (with examples)

positive ways to encourage kids using words

6. Compliment Unexpectedly

One of the most effective ways to encourage kids with words is to praise and compliment them unexpectedly. It is essential to be spontaneous and authentic when praising your children. For instance, you can put an encouraging note in your child’s lunch, or use kind and encouraging words when they don’t expect it. You can also use other forms of encouragement such as a hug or a high five as a way to acknowledge their accomplishments.

It is important to keep in mind that the advantages of praising decline when the child expects it. A 2013 study pointed out that praising children with low self-esteem, for their personal qualities rather than their efforts may make them feel more ashamed when they fail.

Related: 4 Parenting Behaviors That Damage A Child’s Self-Esteem

7. Praise Your Child’s Efforts

Humans are elegant creatures who are always keen on attempting to learn and understand the cause and effect of events. A 1991 study reported that how we attribute to events affects how we think of and respond to future events. Children are conditioned to attribute their successes to the efforts they put in when children are praised for their efforts. The effort used is the innate power to control and improve a task. Children will naturally focus more on effort or develop their skills when they are praised for their efforts.

They grow up to believe that the only way to get results is by practicing and improving skills. This is an excellent way to encourage kids with words since it helps children to adopt a growth mindset. Children with a growth mindset tend to embrace lifelong learning and the joy of incremental personal growth. Empirical studies have revealed that a growth mindset has positive effects on student motivation and academic performance.

When they face challenges, these children attribute their failure to the amount of effort they put in. This enables them to try and work harder and allows them to improve their performance. They grow up to be more resilient, responsible, and mature.

On the other hand, when a child is praised for their successes rather than their efforts, it can negatively affect them. Good results that are directly linked to their ability may influence them to change their goals according to the ensured results. They tend to assess their abilities through performance. For instance, praising that a child is smart because he/she has good grades may lead them to believe that they must continue to prove they are intelligent through good performance and scoring good grades. 

Children are also found to sacrifice valuable learning opportunities that do not ensure outstanding performance. They reject new opportunities to preserve their “smart”. Children with this fixed mindset give up more easily when things become challenging. They may feel that there is a potential possibility of being judged and criticized. They know they are not performing as well as their peers in case they take on tasks they aren’t excellent at. This also makes them feel stupid. Due to this, the child may also grow insecure or defensive, which may ultimately hinder their growth.

In order to avoid these pitfalls of parenting, parents can resort to the praise of “process” encouragement related to effort. Researchers found that toddlers who receive more praise perform better seven years later academically. It also showed process praise had an effect on fourth-grade achievement through children’s trait beliefs rather than through their learning goals.

For instance, instead of saying “what a smart boy/girl”, you can praise the child by saying “I can see that you worked really hard on putting the puzzle pieces together”.

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Monalisa Young

Hey, this is Monalisa and I love writing. Besides writing I enjoy styling clothes, reading romantic novels, and self-help books. I am here to spread good vibes to everyone who is willing to take a chance!View Author posts