Praise is a superior motivator. Children thrive on praise. It's more important and more beneficial to praise a child for good behavior than it is to scold for bad behavior.
There are times when admonitions and correction are needed, but by learning to preempt problem situations with praise and other positive reinforcement, you will build self-esteem in your children and find yourself less discouraged, exhausted, and frustrated at the end of the day. It's a win-win parenting strategy.
The more you focus on the positive, the more things you will find to praise your child for and the less you will have to deal with bad behavior. Praise encourages actions that warrant more praise.
Be consistent, be sincere, and be creative—but be believable. For example, if the child tries to do something new with disastrous results, commend the effort, not the outcome. Or if the ill-fated attempt was meant to be a surprise for you, commend the thoughtfulness. Always accentuate the positive, and make the good memorable.
25 Ways to Say “Good Job!”
When you vary your words of praise and commendation, it can be more meaningful. “Good job” loses its impact when it’s used repeatedly. Try these alternatives:
1. Good for you.
3. That’s great.
4. I like the way you did that.
5. Much better.
6. Keep it up.
7. It’s a pleasure to see that.
8. What neat work.
9. This is so special.
12. Excellent work.
13. I appreciate your help.
14. Why don’t you show the other kids?
17. Right on.
18. For sure.
20. That’s turning out great.
21. How impressive.
22. You’re on the right track.
23. That’s “A plus” work.
24. It looks like you put a lot of work into this.
25. That’s clever.