Positive Praise Phrase No 2

Positive Praise Phrase No 2

“Look at that / those….”    


One of the best ways to praise children for what they’ve done well is to draw their attention to exactly what it is that you’re pleased about.

Have they eaten everything on their plate?  Is their bedroom clean and tidy?  Have they done a good job on their homework?

You don’t need to assess or “grade” the behaviour that you’ve noticed, you simply need to notice it.

So instead of saying “Well done for eating all your dinner!” try saying “Look at that empty plate” instead.

In the same vein, you can try “Look at that tidy bedroom” or “Look at those careful letters”.

Once you get the hang of this you can start to elaborate:  “Look at that tidy bedroom – there’s not a thing on the floor and the shelves are so organised!”

Resist the urge to say “Good work”.  Instead point out why the work is good.

This can be a little tricky at first (especially if you’re the parent of an artistic toddler!) but it gets really easy with practice. 

Yesterday my seven year old showed me a simple collage of coloured tissue paper squares with a paper lizard cut-out stuck on top.  I started by saying “Look at those colours.  They make me think of somewhere hot.”  I guessed Australia.  He told me it was a rainforest. 

Next I noticed the way he’d cut out the small details of the lizard’s feet – “Look at those toes – you’ve cut out around his feet really carefully”.  He was the only one in his class who had cut around the toes like that he told me. 

I was very glad I’d taken the time to notice those toes instead of fobbing him off with a “Great work” or “Lovely picture”.

Did he mind that I didn’t declare his work to be “good” or “great” or “fantastic”?  Not at all.  We’d a lovely chat about his picture, felt connected to each other, and he knew deep down that I’d really noticed and appreciated his work.

No grade necessary.


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