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Praise helps children to feel good

Hello, I’m Melissa from the Early Years Alliance Parenting Team.

The team run parenting groups in many of the children’s centres and schools across Lewisham borough.

One of the programmes we offer is the Incredible Years Programme.

The Incredible Years is a well-researched evidence-based programme that is used worldwide. It supports parents in using positive parenting strategies to help reduce their children’s challenging and aggressive behaviour and increase positive behaviour, improve social emotional development.

Over the 11-weeks, we work collaboratively with parents/cares in using strategies to reinforce positive behaviour. Many parents/carers have often said that they particularly like meeting other parents/cares that are having similar experiences to them. We work as a team and support each other.

One of the strategies we use is praise.

This is a powerful and effective strategy, it is free and there is an endless supply. A little bit of praise can go a long way.

Praise helps children to: Feel good, it raises their self-esteem, helps them to develop a positive self-image, provides motivation, and helps them to praise others.

Here are pointers to remember when giving praise:

  • Catch your child being good, always look for something positive – By reinforcing and focussing on our children’s positive behaviours means they are more than likely to repeat that behaviour.
  • Remember to praise their efforts and recognise the small steps; don’t just wait for the huge achievements and perfect behaviour.
  • Using general praise, saying, good boy/girl, well done is good, but it’s even more effective if you are specific and label that praise, so they know why they are being praised for example “Well done for sitting quietly in the chair”, “Wow, great effort, you are really working hard.” Well done for sharing with your sister.”
  • Ensure your tone and body language is relaxed and positive.
  • Use physical praise such as hi-five, fist pumps, hugs and smile.
  • Model Self-praise

If you would like to find out more about praise and many of the other strategies used in the Incredible Years programme please do not hesitate to get in touch via our ‘Contact Us’ form.

I hope to see you soon.

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