The Praise Quandary

When your child is behaving in a pleasing way do you feel like praising the heavens? Do you feel like praising him?

Although this is a very natural response it's one we need to think about carefully. Reward, including verbal praise, is an EXTRINSIC motivator. And it turns out that this type of motivation eventually backfires.

In other words, praising your child for waiting patiently just might discourage your child from waiting patiently next time! Oh no!

Would you like your child to keep up that particular pleasing behavior? 

Instead of praising him, which erodes cooperation over time, share with him your appreciation and how his actions are beneficial to others.

"You are sitting so patiently and so quietly. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. When you wait like that I can really concentrate and get this job done quickly."

Helping others feels good and that feeling provides the INTRINSIC MOTIVATION to repeat the helpful action.

CAUTION: Kids have "falseness radar"! Be as genuine as you can in your appreciation. Be specific as to why and how their help is beneficial.

Image credit: Feeleez Poster