We all know that praising our children is important and can help aide in their social, emotional and academic functioning. But knowing how to praise children can be an important step that is over looked. It is easy to utilize some “go-to phrases” such as “good job” or “you’re amazing” or “good try.” While praising in general can be beneficial, utilizing values based praise can make praise more meaningful and impactful and can help children to internalize the values you find important. 

There are just a few simple steps to implementing values based praises:

  1. Identify five values that are important to you and your family.
  2. Be on the look out for positive behaviors and choices your child displays (even if they are small).
  3. Narrate the positive behavior or choice out loud and attach one of your identified family values.

Here is an example: 

If you notice your children sharing toys while they are playing together you might say something like “You two are sharing your toys so well, you are both being very kind.” 

Here you are pointing out the positive choice and attaching the value of kindness to that choice.

Helping children to connect their choices to ideal values increases the likelihood that they will repeated these positive behaviors. It also helps them to internalize the values that are important to you and your family. Internalization of these values will assist them in improving their self-esteem as well as displaying those values in future behavior.