I was looking for this today, and found exactly what I wanted. I think most of you know that praising our child “clever”, “pandai” is actually detrimental to his/her cognitive development, but instead, we should be praising for efforts. But then again, I always run out of good things to say other than the standard “good job!”. So here’s to sharing what I found:
Say thank you when you mean it – explain why you are grateful for your child’s actions.
Thank you for helping with…
It makes mornings/dinner/outings easier when you…. thank you
I really appreciate it when you…
Thank you for doing that… it means I/we can now…
Make an observation based on facts – just say what you see without emotions or judgment.
We did it together.
Wow! You made a building/drawing/etc.
You did it on your own.
You did x and then y and worked it out.
You used lots of red paint/blocks/tape/etc.
You made it really big/small/colourful/complicated/etc.
That took you a long time, and you did it!
Extend and encourage – extend learning and encourage conversation by asking questions about what you see while also recognising their efforts.
How did you do that?
You did X, what will you do now?
Can you tell me about it?
What is your favourite part?
How did you think of that?
Put feelings into words – explain how something makes you feel, help your kids notice how their actions make others feel and acknowledge your children’s own feelings.
I really enjoy doing this with you.
I love watching you create/help your sister/play soccer/ etc.
I’m so proud to be your mum, every day, no matter what.
Look how happy your friend is when you share/help/smile/etc.
You kept going, even when it was hard.
You look so pleased to have done that!
You made X feel so pleased when you did that.
It makes you feel good when you do X.
Say nothing – we don’t need to praise every little action, or fill every space with noise. It is enough to sit back and watch our children’s delight in their own achievements
Say nothing – just smile.
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