Our children mean the world to us, but we don't always remember to tell them so. Remind your children, at least once a day, just how important they are with precious inspirational quotes — we've got some suggestions to help you get started.
"Praise, encouragement and kind words are an essential part of our everyday communication with our children across all ages," says Dr. Cheryl Rode, director of clinical operations at the San Diego Center for Children. "Children develop their sense of self through their communications with others, especially their parents."
"Rewards, including praise, are much more effective than punishment in teaching positive behavior," she continues. "Children learn more quickly when they have specific feedback about what they are doing well."
As parents, the things we say to our children become part of who they are. We should always aim to use our word to:
According to child and family psychotherapist Fran Walfish, praise can be a powerful motivating force if you follow a few guidelines.
Aim to offer sincere praise every day.
"When your daughter practices for weeks and finally learns to ride a two-wheel bicycle, for example, give her praise for sticking with it," says Dr. Walfish.
Apply these general praises to specific activities, behaviors and accomplishments:
It's obviously important to praise your child whenever they deserve it, but Dr. Rode feels some correction is still necessary as well.
"We all like to hear kind words when we try hard," she says. "Using frequent positive communication helps build a strong parent-child relationship and can actually make discipline more effective. Both praise and correction are necessary to good parenting, but we want to make sure that there is a higher ratio of the former."
Originally published Feb. 2014. Updated Nov. 2016.
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