Articles - Parenting

Praise or Encouragement?

Praise:

Is a judgement and uses language that evaluates
Is given when the person is successful
Promotes competition by comparing one performance with another
Fosters dependence on the opinions of others

Encouragement:

Is acknowledgement
Uses language that notices
Makes a person feel valued
Promotes co-operation
Focuses on individual effort and progress
Recognizes contribution to the common good
Fosters independence, initiative and motivation
Allows for mistakes because learning is a process
The language of Encouragement (Evans 1995, Dreikurs, Grunwald and Pepper 1982)

Encouragement:

I think you can do it.
You’re a hard worker.
What do you think?
I could use your help.
What can we do to solve this problem?
You put a lot of effort into your work.
I know you did your best.
I admire this or that about you.

Discouragement:

Here, let me do that for you.
Be careful; it’s dangerous.
Don’t forget to do this or that.
When you are older, more spiritual, more skilled etc, you can help.
I told you it wouldn’t work.

Praise:

I’m so proud when you do well.
You did better than anyone else.

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