“Encouragement or Praise – which is better?” is the title of my latest post on Parentous.
I was scheduled to publish a post on Parentous yesterday. Since I had to send the post two days before the publish date, I was sorting through ideas in my mind on May 26 when the phone rang. It was Vidur’s classmate calling to tell him that their 10th grade exam results were out! We stumbled over each other, rushing to the computer to log in to see how Vidur had fared. Now, Grade 10 is a major milestone. While we really had no doubt as far as performance was concerned, Vidur was a bit anxious because he was sick during the exams. We were excited to see that he had scored Grade A1 in all the subjects and a CGPA of 10 out of 10. Great going, indeed!
Of course, I burst into tears and Vidur hugged me, telling me that it was our encouragement that always helped him. What a beautiful thing to say! I also realized in my mind, that I was quick to encourage – and slightly slower when it came to praise.
And that is how the topic for my parenting post came about.
As it happened, even as we reveled in the good news, the doorbell rang. Guests. So – naturally it had to be party time. Sury quickly went and got sweets and we – all 12 of us – comprising of three generations – settled down to a healthy debate about which was better….
Encouragement or Praise?
By definition, praise is an “expression of approval, commendation, or admiration.” while encouragement is to “inspire with hope, courage, or confidence”.
[box] When you want children to develop a healthy self esteem , celebrate and acknowledge their efforts, but do not praise them . Dr Louise Porter. [/box]
When it is a question of encouragement or praise – encouragement is the answer, most of the time. My logic for this is: encouragement is about the journey and praise is about the destination. Continuous encouragement (through the process) enables a child achieve the desired outcome – which then deserves praise, depending on what it is. Point is, whether we praise or not, encouragement is a non-negotiable – a must-do!.
I believe in positive parenting and one of the things I’ve realized is: parenting is a life-long learning process. Sometimes a tough situation has the solution hidden in it, if only we’d see the big picture. Sometimes it is so easy to miss the forest as we focus on the trees! I consider myself very blessed to enjoy a wonderful relationship with my son.
[box] Children need encouragement like plants need water[/box]
Encouragement, not praise helps a child builds self-esteem. And self-esteem grows only when a child receives honest feedback that lets her see her capabilities in their true light, enabling her set realistic goals; not when we hear the words “great job!” Only encouragement allows the child to see this point of view. Some ways to do this are:
- Be specific rather than general while giving feedback. Highlight the plus points.
- Focus on the process, not the outcome.
- Be honest. Children know when you are paying lip service.
- Don’t compare with others
- If offering critique, do it in private
- Acknowledge both successes AND failures – both are equally important
[box] A word of encouragement during failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success[/box]
Please do read my post “Encouragement or Praise – Which is better” at Parentous. I’d love to know what you think! I’ve listed what I’ve learned in relation to encouragement or praise. I have also talked about the different ways in which we encourage Vidur. Thanks!
I am excited to announce:
The Mindful Parenting eBundle Sale
(A fantastic resource and a $274 USD value)
at ONLY $24.95 USD
Only from May 28 to June 10, 2013
The Mindful Parenting eBundle is a one time opportunity which contains:
- more than 22 carefully selected e-products by renowned authors – some are only available as a standalone through this bundle!
- answers to the most pertinent parenting questions in a variety of formats: e-mail courses, e-books, audio, and e-magazine.
- topics including children and food, nurturing creativity, relaxation for parents, connecting through play, peaceful parenting, parenting through divorce, and many more.
You pay Only $ 24.95 22 eProducts for 22 eProducts (Total value $274 USD)
An investment of approximately $1.13 per eProduct!
There are 3 resources for stress relief for parents, 6 peaceful guidance tools, 5 creative play resources, 3 motherhood resources, plus bonus resources and a freebie!
Click here to visit Mindful Nurturing.
(Disclosure: I am an affiliate for the Mindful Parenting eBundle. All my affiliate earnings go towards supporting a local welfare home for girls in my area)
Thank you for your support!