There is Power in Praising Your Kids

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There is so much power in praising your kids. If you are not currently praising your kids regularly, you are missing out on multiple benefits for you and your family. Celebrating the successes and efforts of your children in the form of praise can quickly become second nature when you start to implement it in your household.

Unleash the Power of Praise

There are multiple benefits associated with praising your kids. These can range from scientific benefits for their brains to boosting their self-esteem. Praise is a tool that you need to incorporate into your life no matter what parenting style you prefer.

Parenting Styles can vary

What is Praise?

Praise is essentially a compliment. However, rather than complimenting somebodies shoes, we want to compliment positive character traits in our kids. We do not want to be over-the-top with this because you surely do not want to give your child a complex, but you want to be intentional. Praise is defined as “the express warm approval or admiration,” and a compliment is a “polite expression of praise.” So – once you approve of your child's behavior, you need to express that approval politely. It seems simple, right?

What are the Benefits of Praise

While researching the benefits of praise, I found that when a person receives a compliment, it triggers the same area of the brain as if you had received a monetary gift. Who doesn't love to get unexpected money? When people receive praise, it has also been discovered that their brain releases Dopamine, better known as the “happy hormone.”

Another benefit is the chance to elaborate on your children's vocabulary. When you incorporate a new character trait into your praise, the use of a new and unknown word will trigger your child to pay attention and ask questions. This can help open up an entire line of new conversations.

Is There a Correct Way to Praise?

Yes. You can praise the wrong way. Think of it as being similar to good attention and bad attention. As adults, we know the difference. However, our children can sometimes struggle with recognizing the benefits of good attention. This can cause them to lash out since they are trying to receive any attention available. It will take them time to find the balance between good attention and still have some control.

If you don't know the difference between good praise and bad praise, you can easily find yourself giving the wrong type of praise. You don't want to go about throwing unthoughtful and unhelpful praise around. When you praise, you want to include positive character traits. You also don't want to throw out compliments about appearance, body image, or smarts. This will not help with the ultimate goal of good behavior.

Lastly, be careful how you praise. You do not want to make it weird or awkward for your child. Don't scare them with a big jump and lots of yelling. Speak calmly, clearly, and intentionally.

Speak This Not That

How to Incorporate Praise

Once you have identified the correct type of praise to use, start praising! In my boot camps, I discuss having a list of character traits and their definitions (because you know your child will ask “what's that” type of questions) ready when implementing a correction or offering praise.

Focus on your child's overall character. What do you want to instill? How do you want to better your child? What can you replace the bad behavior with that would be a valuable attribute to add to your child's overall demeanor?

Praise doesn't have to be verbal. Implement hand signals when you find yourself in a situation where you can not verbally praise your kids. A simple thumbs-up will go a long way. There's nothing quite like seeing your kid's face light up when they notice you across the way with a thumbs up in their direction.


In conclusion, praise is a fantastic tool to add to your parenting arsenal. It is typically used in gentle parenting (authoritative) styles. You want to be intentional when praising your kids but not too overpowering. Try to add new vocabulary when you can. Don't forget about hand signals! A thumbs up from across the soccer field can completely change the outcome of your kid's game. It all starts from within!

If you have a child struggling with Bad Behavior, please check into my Boot Camp for Correcting Bad Behavior in 3 Days.

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