How to use the steps of Effective Praise


Many parents don’t believe us when we say that the fastest way to change your child’s negative behavior is to praise them! That is, until they try it and watch the magic happen and then they are SOLD!

Let’s be honest, when emotions are high it can be hard to praise our children as criticism is our natural response. Plus, it seems counterproductive to praise when our children need to be corrected. We know. We thought the same thing until we used it. The magic of Effective Praise is that it can be used in almost every situation. Especially the tricky ones when you think that there is nothing good that can be praised.

LEARN THE MAGIC OF EFFECTIVE PRAISE BY WATCHING OUR SKILLS VIDEO

When starting to use Effective Praise it’s probably not going to feel natural. Don’t worry, with practice it will be. When we started using the skill, the hardest part for us was knowing how to use the skill and finding things to praise. So, we’re going to help you by walking through the steps with a number of photos.

There are 3 mains steps to the skill of Effective Praise and 1 optional step because sometimes it’s important to give a reward to reinforce positive behavior. The steps themselves aren’t that hard, they just take some practice to get used to. The hardest part is going to be coming up with a reason that matters to your child as to why they should do the positive behavior. If you’re stumped, we recommend using the worksheet Correcting Behaviors: Finding a Meaningful Reason.

The steps to Effective Praise are:

1. Show your approval/find a positive

2. Describe the positive behavior. Be specific.

3. Give a meaningful reason

4. Give a reward (optional)

Ok. Here’s how we’d use the steps in real-life situations. If you want to practice, write down your own version of what you’d say for each step of the skill.

Thanks for sitting quietly (Step 1: Show your approval/find a positive). When you sit quietly while I am on the phone (Step 2: Describe the positive behavior. Be specific.), I can get off the phone quicker and play with you sooner (Step 3: Give a meaningful reason).

Good job getting a healthy snack (Step 1: Show your approval/find a positive). When you eat a healthy snack (Step 2: Describe the positive behavior. Be specific.) you’ll grow strong and big like your older brothers (Step 3: Give a meaningful reason). Next time you want a snack, come and get me and I’ll help you get one so you don’t have to clean up what you spilled. Let’s work together this time to clean it up.

I am so proud that you’re working on your talents (Step 1: Show your approval/find a positive). Practicing on your paper instead of on your face (Step 2: Describe the positive behavior. Be specific.) means you won’t have to take another bath (Step 3: Give a meaningful reason).

Effective Praise doesn’t just work when your children are doing something wrong and you want them to change. It also works when you want them to continue good behavior.

Thank you for cutting the onions (Step 1: Show your approval/find a positive). When you help with dinner (Step 2: Describe the positive behavior. Be specific.) you’ll get more input on what we have (Step 3: Give a meaningful reason).

I love how well you’re stretching (Step 1: Show your approval/find a positive). Keep stretching (Step 2: Describe the positive behavior. Be specific.) and soon you’ll be flexible enough to do the splits like you want (Step 3: Give a meaningful reason).

The hardest part about using Effective Praise is finding something to praise, especially when your children are acting out and you don’t think they deserve praise. Practicing using random images or when watching TV or a movie, helps remove the emotion of the anger or frustration and that makes it easier.

Don’t forget if you’re needing help with Effective Praise, you can always contact us!

Amy

Amy loves all things England, ice cream and lemons. She's a foster mom to three wonderful kids. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling the world, seeing plays, cooking, and soaking up sunshine.

Pin It on Pinterest