What is the Difference between Praise and Encouragement?

What is the Difference between Praise and Encouragement?

Family Communication, Help By Age & Stage, Kids 5 - 12 years
Did you know too much blanket praise can undermine a child's confidence and motivation? Praise sounds like... "Good girl!" "You are so smart." "You are such a pretty little girl!" "You are strong and handsome." "You are an amazing athlete!" "You are so good at sharing." "You are super good at math." Sounds good, right? Familiar, perhaps, as you praise your child all through the day? Rethinking How and When To Praise Children Consider this, praise of this kind can actually displace just what our children need the most. Yes, displaces. As we give what feels like encouragement to our children in just the above way, we are undermining their ability to be intrinsically motivated--firing from inside themselves as they tap into their strengths and abilities to, on their own,…
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The Special Tool for Replacing Anger and Frustration with Calm Connection

The Special Tool for Replacing Anger and Frustration with Calm Connection

Parenting
I'm sure you know the drill—buttons pushed, kids not listening, fighting in the backseat of the car. Whining, sassing, talking-back, door slamming. And how about that frustrating "last word"? You know, when you have a child who is ultra good at getting in the last word, and it drives you nuts because you want (and feel you deserve because you are the adult...) the last word too? That was my daughter and me. Or maybe you have the teen who is lost in their digital devices and offers up no words at all. That can really get a parent anxious. Or how about the tantrums by both toddlers and teens? Those teen tantrums caught me by surprise. Ever have a sobbing high-schooler in your lap? I have, and it was…
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Your Child May Have The Best Solution For Unwanted Behavior

Your Child May Have The Best Solution For Unwanted Behavior

Family Communication, Help By Age & Stage, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Positive Discipline, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
My then 3-year old son and I were at our favorite family camp one summer. My son loved to play in the woods – grabbing handfuls of red earth, and throwing them up in the air like fireworks. The beautiful color and sound filled him with joy as the dirt rained down over his head and body. I, on the other hand, felt no joy when he laid his dirt-filled head of hair onto the pillow that night. I told him that if he wanted to play in the dirt, that was fine, but he’d have to take a shower after so that we could get the dirt out of his hair. Seems like a very logical consequence, right? However, my son hated the shower. He screamed, cried, and hollered…
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How to Discipline When A New Baby Arrives and Siblings Act Out

How to Discipline When A New Baby Arrives and Siblings Act Out

Babies 0-12 months, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
I'm having a very trying time with my three-year-old at the moment. He is a very bright, highly spirited and sensitive little boy. His baby brother was born just a month ago so I appreciate he has had a lot of change to deal with lately. But to be frank I am running out of ideas! He is very physical and often hurts me and the baby. I came under a lot of pressure from certain family members to take a firmer stand with him as they believed I was being too soft and rewarding bad behaviour. So reluctantly, I have started using time out even though it doesn't fit with my ethos and I know it is not particularly effective either. I am simply at the end of my…
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One of The Most Wonderful Gifts You Can Give Your Child

One of The Most Wonderful Gifts You Can Give Your Child

Kids 5 - 12 years, Positive Discipline
One of the best gifts you can give your child this Holiday Season can't be found at a store. You can’t wrap it up, and they won’t be asking for it.  But they need it more than anything, and it doesn’t cost a dime. A child needs encouragement like a plant needs water. - Rudolf Dreikurs Think of someone in your life who was encouraging.  What did they do?  What did they say?  How did they see you? When I ask this question in parenting classes, the responses look something like this: they noticed my strengths they spent time with me they believed in me they loved me unconditionally they helped me learn new skills they really listened to me And yet, when our kids are messing up or misbehaving, it’s so easy to slip…
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Clingy Toddlers are Not Spoiled Here is How to Handle This Very Normal Childhood Phase

Clingy Toddlers are Not Spoiled Here is How to Handle This Very Normal Childhood Phase

Parenting, Toddlers 12- 36 months
Once upon a time, my daughter went through a very clingy toddler phase, and I mean really, very,  up please, hold me please, come with me please, I can't go there alone, up ! up!, carry me, sleep next to me, hold me more, kind of clingy. While she did play independently very well as a toddler, she definitely had clingy moments where she needed loads of extra loving attention. In playgroups, parents and I discuss clingy toddlers so often. Most toddlers have clingy phases. Some toddlers have very clingy phases. A toddler that is clingy is going through a very normal phase of childhood. Clingy Behavior in Toddlers is Normal When a child is clingy, it may be at times overwhelming or tiring, but based on what we know about child…
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One Sure Way To Encourage Cooperation in Early Childhood

One Sure Way To Encourage Cooperation in Early Childhood

Family Communication, Parenting, Positive Discipline, Toddlers 12- 36 months
One very challenging task in the early years of parenting is finding ways to encourage cooperation and listening. Toddlers and pre-schoolers are notorious for saying "NO!" "I can't" and "I don't want to!" especially in moments when we would like to hear "yes mama!" and "OK" In the name of getting things done, it is so tempting to engage in demanding and nagging:  "Come on..." And even pleading "Will you please, just put your second shoe on sweet darling!" Of course there is the bribing and prize routes that often just leads to time outs and consequences....but toddlers and preschoolers don't really mean to be making trouble. Young children are curious by nature and even defiant by design! But this is a good thing, as it helps them grow into resilient, capable beings! Growing…
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Positive Parenting: How Being Deliberate and Present Encourages Cooperation

Positive Parenting: How Being Deliberate and Present Encourages Cooperation

Family Communication, Parenting
Being deliberate and present with our children is a wonderful way to encourage cooperation.  I have been thinking and reflecting a lot about being deliberate and present with my children. Even just a few weeks ago, I wasn't focusing on this very well...my distraction was translating into disconnection. Lack of connection with my children lead directly to a terrible string of using disconnected consequences and nagging.  There was also a bit of yelling and even one big  "I hate you MOM!" moment that woke up me!   Having awareness of how I fell off track has helped me stop, refocus, and get back to more peaceful, encouraging interactions. The effort has been so worth it... As I was reading a book, my 6 year old son tapped me on the arm. "Hey mom! How is your…
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Encouraging Better Behavior When Your Child Acts Out

Encouraging Better Behavior When Your Child Acts Out

Alternatives to Punishment, Family Communication, Help By Age & Stage, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Positive Discipline
How to help a child who is acting out by setting clear, kind limits and offering positive guidance.  Walking out of school, I noticed my son had an envelope in his hand. As he handed it to me with a shy but determined smile he said: “Mom, this is for you. I wrote you an an apology letter. I was so angry and I am really, really sorry for what I said this morning.” Just a few hours earlier we had had an unusually challenging morning. Where normally everyone follows a routine, we chat over breakfast and get ready for school and work without much fuss, this morning was so different. It was tense and so very trying. There was eye rolling, frowns and demands. It all culminated in an ugly, disconnected…
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Teaching Children Respect

Teaching Children Respect

Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Teens 13-18 Years, Tweens 10-12 years
"Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them." - James Baldwin Children are mirrors; they reflect back to us everything we say and do. We now know that 95% of everything children learn, they learn from what is modeled for them. Only 5% of all they learn is from direct instruction. Human beings are like tape recorders. Every word we hear, everything we experience, is permanently recorded in our subconscious. Whenever adults speak, we are being role models for the children in our presence. What we speak is what we teach. Children record every word we ever say to them or in front of them. The language children grow up hearing is the language they will speak. We often…
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