Best ways to appreciate your child

We know that as a parent, you are trying hard.

But trust us, your child is trying hard too.

Your growing baby, who is busy figuring out the world and learning right from wrong, is trying everyday to become the person you want them to be. Sometimes they succeed. Sometimes they do not. And sometimes they get halfway there, having tried their very best.

Whatever they do, they deserve to be appreciated for their effort. They deserve your praise, your love and all the compliments that you can dole out. In fact, these are not the only ways to show appreciation. There is a lot more you can do to let your child know that you value them and adore all the little things they do to make your life easier.

How to appreciate kids

Appreciating or praising your child involves the act of telling them when they have done a good job. You have to communicate with them clearly to let them know that this is the kind of behaviour you like so they can continue doing the right thing in any given situation. Particularly the difficult kind of situations.

Examples of appreciation include telling your child things like “You were great today”, “Well done”, or “That was amazing”!

By praising your child regularly for all the good things they do, you raise their confidence. This, in turn, allows them to view and think of themselves in a more positive light. Think of it as helping them recognise when they have done well themselves so they can feel proud about their achievements.

That said, appreciation is something that does not take a one size fits all approach. Kids of different ages require different kinds of appreciation.

For example, you can appreciate your toddler for not throwing a fuss and eating their greens; while you can appreciate your teen kid for being responsible and finishing their homework on their own without any reminders.

Another point to remember when it comes to how to appreciate your kids is to be descriptive. Praises should not be too vague as they can lose value. You need to convey to your child exactly what you liked about their behaviour in crystal clear terms. For example, if your child tidies up their room neatly, let them know that you love how they have organised their things instead of just calling them “good boy, or girl”. The latter does not seem as genuine.

Use appreciation as a way to encourage your kids

Praising can be a great way to encourage consistent good behaviour in your child. Compliments for kids should definitely be directed at all the efforts they put in to choose the right mode of action each time.

For example, if your child works hard to study for a test, you can tell them something like “Well done for studying so hard for your exam tomorrow.”

Appreciation like this can keep your child motivated to work harder in the future.

You can even use praise as a form of positive affirmation before your child has done something that meets your expectations. Taking the same example of studying for a test forward, you can express to your child that you really value how much effort they have put in for their test and that you know they have tried their best of what the test results turn out to be. That is a compliment for kids that can definitely help those who are not that confident.

Give them rewards for behaving well

Rewarding a child for positive behaviour might be the oldest trick in the book but there is a reason why it works. Rewards are a type of positive reinforcement. The kind in which actions speak way, way louder than words.

Rewards can be used as a creative way to show appreciation. For example, you can reward your child with extra outdoor play time, or with a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle, or by giving them the responsibility to decide the night’s family game. As long as the privilege you offer them is constructive one way or another.

Use appreciation as means to change problematic behaviour

Often children may display challenging behaviour from time to time. Instances of this are more common when kids do not get their way. However, the good thing is that children learn to change through encouragement and praise.

If your child is behaving in a problematic manner, identify how you would like them to behave instead. Once that is clear, encourage your child to behave in that particular way. For instance, if your child is making a mess of their toys, encourage them to keep their toys in the right palace after they are playing.

Next, observe how they treat their toys the next time they place. If they put them back in their right place after playing, take this opportunity to compliment them for it. Now if they make a habit of putting their toys away on their own, you can even reward them for their good behaviour with a new toy, or something like that.

Tips for appreciating your kids

From using appreciation words for kids to rewarding them, there is a lot you can do to let your child know how much you value them and their efforts.

  • Compliment your children for all their little successes and victories. Any improvement or effort should not go unnoticed.
  • Recognise and praise the strengths of your child, encouraging them to pursue their interests. This can increase their self-confidence.
  • Instead of correcting their behaviour too often, try to praise them for all the good things they do.
  • Try to keep your children motivated by encouraging them everyday.
  • Use rewards as a means of appreciation but only sparingly. Frequently rewarding your child runs the risk of spoiling them. Reward your child when they are least expecting it.
  • Always be sincere. Your appreciation of your child should be genuine. Children can sense when you are faking it.
  • Make sure the means of appreciating you use are age-appropriate.
  • While appreciative words for kids work most of the time, be sure to communicate your appreciation in non-verbal ways as well.

Appreciating children is a beautiful thing to do. Positive reinforcement throughout childhood can help you raise responsible and confident adults who have what it takes to navigate their way through this world in an admirable manner. At EuroKids, we make it a point to constantly appreciate and reward our students for good behaviour or academic progress in the classroom. To know more about the best practices we follow in our preschools, drop by at any one of our centres that is nearest to you.

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