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THE PRAISE: Its importance as an educational resource


When was the last time you praised your child? Sometimes, we make the mistake of focusing only on correcting and pointing out what our children do wrong and forget to recognize what they do well. However, it is more than proven that praise is one of the most powerful positive consequences to strengthen good behavior.In fact, it has been proven that it is more effective to praise after good behavior than to punish after bad behavior.

We know that when there are problems at home (disobedience, undesirable behavior, fights...) it is hard to see the positive, what is does well. We encourage you to put on your positive glasses and notice any good behavior your child has, no matter how small he or she may be, and don't forget to praise him/her.

Mother caressing and praising her daughter. The praise

One of the greatest reluctance when it comes to praising are ideas such as: that children have to do things just because, that it is their obligation, their responsibility and that therefore they should not be praised for it and that they should do it. It's a mistake because they get into bad habits. Children seek attention from parents and when we do not praise them for positive behaviors, they tend to behave badly knowing that they will have our attention guaranteed in the event of bad behavior. Therefore, no, your child will not become a tyrant or a lazy person if you praise him, rather the opposite will happen.

What the research says, Idea

What the research says

  • Praise increases positive behaviors, improves children's self-esteem, increases their motivation in difficult tasks.

  • Parents feel better when they realize that they are doing something positive, constructive and effective to influence their children's behavior.

  • Praising helps create a more positive and relaxed family climate.

  • When you praise the positive behavior of a person, adult or child, self-confidence is increased and it promotes a positive self-concept.

  • Children who are praised learn to praise themselves, which helps prevent depression, and they also learn to praise others by improving their relationships with others.

  • When we do not praise appropriate behaviors enough, bad behaviors increase (as a means of getting attention)

How to do it

Seesome important points in detail:

  1. Praise behaviors. Even if you think not, it surely presents desirable behaviors. However, we must avoid comments, both positive and negative, that encompass the person type: “You are lazy”, “You are rude”, “You are a good person” or “You are very responsible”. The former, which have a critical component, can generate rejection and negative emotions, and the positive ones generate a lot of pressure to always act according to the expectations of others. That's why we should always rrefer to specific behaviors. For example: “It wasn't good paste to your brother” or “I like that you made an effort both for the French exam” 

  2. Concrete praise.  The more precise the praise, the better you will understand what you do well and the greater the likelihood that that behavior will be repeated in the future. For example: “I have I really liked that help your brother pick up his toysversus “you have been very good to your brother ".

  3. Praise any progress. Although it may seem to you that you are still far from doing things well, the steps that are being taken are no less important. You don't have to wait for the behavior to be perfect to praise it. We must not forget to praise any small step towards the desired behavior. If we want our child to dress himself, we must start by praising him putting on any piece of clothing of clothes and not expect him to dress completely from the first moment. Another example could be clearing the table and putting the dishes in the dishwasher. We would say: “You did very well by putting your glass in the dishwasher” (even though he has not yet removed the entire table by himself). As progress is maintained, less praise will be given and the final behavior will end up being praised. In the case of the example: “You have cleaned the table beautifully and put all the dirty things in the dishwasher” The sum of small progress They result in desirable behaviors.

  4. Choose praise well. You can praise in many ways: giving a hug, smiling, saying that you really like how he is doing it, valuing his effort...  So that the praise does not become normalized and lose part of its effect, it is interesting vary expressions of recognition. The most powerful praise is hugs, kisses and other physical signs of affection and recognition, along with the expression of positive feelings: how happy I am, I love to see that you have tidied up your room, done your homework , helped your brother get dressed…. The idea is to notice the positive things your child does and let them know in some way.

  5. Praise immediately. < /span>It is important that not too much time passes between the desired behavior and the praise so that it does not lose its effectiveness.

  6. Praise in front of other people. Acknowledge to other loved ones, discuss progress with grandparents, tell the teacher how hard they have worked...  Your child will feel that what What you do is important and you will find that other people are happy about your achievements.

  7. Exaggerate and use humor. A sense of humor is another important resource to have an emotional impact. If you find that your son has set the table, you can make a comment like “Today we enjoyed the best waiter in the neighborhood.” Your child will feel very good about himself and you will laugh a little.

  8. Be careful with praising and criticizing at the same time. We must avoid at all costs falling into a very common mistake which is praising and criticizing at the same time. For example: “I'm so glad you tidied up your room because you haven't done it in so long…” Focus on the good and what you want to recognize. The rest address it at another more opportune time.

  9. Affection is important. Parenting should be based on unconditional love. Praising appropriate behavior is necessary, but we must not forget to always be kind and affectionate with our children, even when they do not behave well. We should not condition our love and acceptance on their behavior.



If you find it difficult to praise, we encourage you to keep a diary of good behavior, in which you write down every day the good things that your child has done. Every day write down A list of 3 to 5 positive or desirable things that each of your children has done. At the end of the day, share that list with your children, praising and highlighting those positive things. It will make them feel very good and you will be able to see how your children also do things well.

Diary of praise

Diary of good conduct

good behavior diary


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