• When to Praise and When to Reprimand

    When to Praise and When to Reprimand

    Knowing When to Praise and Reprimand

    What did you do when your child broke your favorite coffee mug from college even though you told them never, ever to touch it? Did you yell? What about when the same child made you that adorable picture for Mother’s Day? Did you praise them? Praise and reprimands are the opposite ends of a spectrum of how you can react to your child’s behavior. As a parent, it’s worth considering when to reprimand your child, when to praise them, and how to effectively use both these parenting techniques.

    It’s Okay to Feel Upset

    Are you allowed to get angry at your child and yell? “Of course!” says Denise. “You would not be a human being if you didn’t.”  Some moms become frustrated over always having to appear calm and collected in public. “When it comes to OUR feelings, all of a sudden we are supposed to hide our emotions…now I need to walk away and take deep breaths and come back and talk to her when I’m no longer mad?” said a different mom. According to these moms, sometimes it’s appropriate to let emotions get away from you and raise your voice to your child.

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    Praise is a Powerful Tool

    If you’re sometimes strict with your child, it doesn’t mean you can’t also show praise. In fact, if you’re going to be strict you MUST show praise when it’s deserved. Why? Because, kids are very observant, because they’re learning how to act. If you don’t let them know when they do something right, they’ll be continually discouraged. When good behavior is praised it is likely that the child will act this way more often, but if the same good behavior is ignored, the child will be less likely to repeat it. In short, praise is a powerful tool.

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    But Don’t Overdo It

    However, too much praise can be as harmful as overly harsh reprimands. According to Alife Kohn, an author and a lecturer on this topic, “Praise is a way of getting children to comply with adults’ wishes…” …but it won’t necessarily help them improve. Too much praise can cause kids to avoid risk; if praise is their only motivator, they’ll perform enough to earn praise, but not beyond. If you seek some further reading about some types of praise that go beyond empty words like “great job!” then check out “person praise.”

    Praise and Reprimand Can Be Great Motivators

    Praise and reprimands are both powerful tools you can use to motivate your child, but it’s worth considering how and when you use them, and tailoring your approach to your child’s specific personality. You know best what your child responds to, but keep our findings in mind next time praise or reprimand is required.

    Topics: All, Parenting

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