To Praise or Not to Praise?
To give someone encouraging words, can only be a good thing, right? How can telling anyone, “That was great!”, be a bad thing? Recently we have found that the way we encourage those around us, especially our children, can have an effect that we never would of imagined.
Most of us grew up hearing or longing to hear, “Good job!”, “That was great!”, or even “Perfect!”. Now we are learning that those of us that were raised with those seeming to be encouraging words are not so encouraging but rather rating. You might be thinking, “What? How can those phrases be anything but beneficial?”. But the fact is, that those words and phrases, set those who are hearing them up to do the activity they are doing for someone else, rather than them self; hence the “People Pleaser”. An appropriate example of this is when my daughter went to kindergarten and came home with “Good Job!” on her paper. Thinking she would be pleased with such praising words, she was actually disappointed and longed for the day that her teacher would write, “Great Job”. This led me to wonder, after she sees the “Great Job!”, “Then what?”. It was then I realized that we had raised a “People Pleaser”, which makes sense with my husband and I both being People Pleasers ourselves. So after researching the difference between “Praise” and “Encouragement”, I came to the awakening of empowering phrases from Dr. Becky Baily that would assist my daughter in doing things for herself, rather than constantly trying to please others and looking for those words of praise. It took a long time to actually take the rating praise out of our hourly communication with our daughter, but with lots of practice and signs around the house, we are using more empowering phrases such as, “Way to go!”, “You did it!” and “Alright!”. Now we are seeing her more confident and believing in herself in most areas of her life. Of course parenting is a constant work in progress, but it is something that we get to observe the fruits of our labor every day! (From the book: Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline By Dr. Becky Baily)