Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Praise vs. Encouragement (the lingo)

We’ve been hearing a lot about how over-praising our children can set them up for failure (needing outside approval to feel good, giving up quickly if they can’t succeed, block the building of self-esteem and personal pride, building anxiety…to name a few) And I’m totally on board!  But I find myself at a loss for the correct phrases and so I go back to the old stand-bys (“I like how Mary…”, “You’re so smart!”…) 
So I compiled this list of encouragement phrases from several sources to help adults by focusing not on the outcome (which the child cannot always control) but on something they can control, their effort! o “Thank you for hanging your coat up.  That sure helps keep the cubby area clean.” 

o “I noticed how you….”

o “Tell me about what you did at circle time today.” 

o “Tell me about your painting.” 

o “Wow, you used a lot of blocks in this structure.  Tell me about it.”

o “You sat with your body still and your eyes right on me.  It looked like you were working very hard to listen carefully.”

o “You’ve really stuck with that.  You’re working really hard.”  “It looks like that’s getting a little easier.  You must have been practicing.”

o “You worked hard.  You must be so proud of yourself.”

o “Thanks for helping”

o “You used all those different colors.”

o “You straightened all the bookshelves.”

o “You should be proud of yourself.”

o “You tried very hard to be on time.”

o “Any teacher would appreciate you.”

o “You’re being so careful with that.”

o "I have faith in you."

o "I trust your decision."

o "I knew you could do it."

o "You did your best and you didn't give up."

o "I really appreciate your help."

o "I love you no matter what."

o “You have picked a nice outfit today.”

o “Look what you did with your hair today.”

o “You are studying hard.”

o “You are working really hard at figuring that out.”

o “How do you think you did?”

o “Why is that?”

o “How did you figure that out?”

o "Go on. Have a try/ Have a go/ Have a guess."

o “How do you think you will handle it next time?”

o "You were almost right/ That's almost it/ You've almost got it. Try again."

o  "There's no need to rush/ There's no hurry/ We have plenty of time."

o "(That was a) nice try/ attempt."

o "(This/ that is/ was) much better than last time/ last week/ yesterday."

o "Keep going/ Don't give up/ You can do it! (You’re) nearly there/ almost there/ getting there/ getting warmer/ getting closer (You’re) getting better."

In a nutshell:

Say “I noticed…”

Say “Thank you for…”
Say “Tell me about…”
Say “Try again” or “You can do it.”
Say “look how (careful/detailed/quiet/gentle…) you’re being with that.”
Say “Look how hard you’re working on that.”
Make a detailed statement about what you see
Simply give them a warm smile

1 comment:

  1. I just led a staff development session on effective feedback vs praise! Love this, great resource.