Archive - June 2015

How to praise your child to make them successful
4 great quotes for digital parents to live by

How to praise your child to make them successful

Balloon toddlers


Mary Lamb, an English writer, once said ”Children are fed with milk and praise”. And while praise is indeed very important for kids, not every praise is equal. Picture a scenario: your kid comes back from school proudly showing their new drawing. Good job! – you summarize without hesitation, just glancing at the picture. After dinner they encourage you to take a look at the room they have just cleaned.  Wow, nice! – another comment that comes naturally. Even though you must have said those praises with good intentions, there are better ways to build motivation in your child and make them more successful in the future.

Let’s focus for the moment on the importance of praise itself. Apart from other obvious results like raising child’s self-esteem, praise can also play an important part in other areas. According to studies parent praise from 1 to 3-year-olds predicts children’s motivational framework 5 years later. Additionally, it was considered an important factor that helps kids become aware of their values in the eyes of their caregivers.

Praises can be generally divided into two major categories. The expressions like ”wonderful” which are so easy for parents to say are so-called ”generic praises” – usually the ones that can be applied to almost any situation when we want to say something positive about our kid’s accomplishments. It also includes person praise like ”You’re so smart” or ”Good boy!”. On the other hand, there is a second type of praise called ”process praise” or ”non-generic praise”. This type of praise is usually a more descriptive one and focuses on a person’s effort and work rather than their personal traits.

What kind of study is more beneficial then and how does it influence children’s performance? In search for the answer, the scientists have conducted an interesting experiment: they’ve asked fifth-graders to complete a test and then praised their performance. One group of kids was given a person praise, the other one a process praise. Then the kids were given harder tasks and were told that this time they didn’t perform so well.

Guess what?

Kids who were given process praise were more inclined to take part in the more difficult tasks and enjoyed them more comparing to the children who were given a person praise. The process praise also caused an increase in their performance, whereas the person praise made it more difficult for kids to cope with failure. Therefore, praises may lead to your child believing that their ability comes from fixed trait (as a result of a person praise) or that their accomplishments depend on their effort and work (process praise). 

The studies are still not sufficient to talk about the long-term effects of such praises, but there won’t be any harm in updating your praise vocabulary 🙂   So instead of ”Good job” try saying:

– I really liked how you handled this problem!

– You came up with a wonderful solution!

– You must have worked really hard!

– You found really good ways to deal with this issue!

Which kind of praise do you tend to use when speaking to your child? Let us know in the comments on our FB page!



Thanks for reading and see you next week!

Magdalena | Appetite For Education

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4 great quotes for digital parents to live by

girl and her mother at the seaside

Some people seem to be just born with an ability to describe the reality so accurately with words. Therefore, the Internet is full of quotes on parenting, parents and children: some hilarious, some inspirational and some simply clever. Today I’ve picked 4 great quotes you can live by as a digital parent.

1. “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” 

Robert Fulghum

2. “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” 

James Baldwin

Two brilliant quotes which basically talk about the same thing – the importance of being a good role model. I’m sure we’re all familiar with a saying actions speak louder than words”. Many kids ignore what their parents tell them, but they like to imitate their behavior. According to one study imitation is a powerful form of learning used both by toddlers and preschoolers. Talking to kids about dangers of technology is very important when raising digital natives, but what is even more important is setting a good example. Your children might not listen to you when you nag about not using the phone when eating, but what if you do the same thing? Putting it away during the meal time won’t guarantee your child will do it as well, but it’s definitely a trick worth trying.

3. Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” 
Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin often stated he’d wished he could see the world 300 years later. Even though he might not have thought that that technology will be so present in our lives, he hit a nail on the head with this quote when it comes to life in the digital era. According to Franklin involvement is crucial when it comes to learning process. How can you apply this quote to your digital parenting? For example take your child’s opinion when it comes to choosing a new mobile application or a movie. 

4. We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” 
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

It’s such a great quote I couldn’t resist including it in one of my previous posts on the challenges parents face in the digital world. Every parent wants the best future for their children, which is not always doable. What they can do instead is to prepare them for the future. It means equipping children with useful knowledge and skills as well as helping them to get ready for the challenges and dangers of the world.

A penny for your thought 🙂 Which quote is your favorite? Share your thoughts under the post on our FB page.

Thanks for reading and see you next week.

Magdalena | Appetite For Education

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