Noticing and commenting on what children are doing right is a much more effective way of giving attention than focussing on negative behaviour. Parents generally criticise in their efforts to teach.
How to descriptively praise:
Focus on what they are getting right, rather than what’s going wrong.
Notice and mention small steps in the right direction.
Identify the quality shown by the behaviour.
Acknowledge effort, improvement and strategies, not results.
Don’t compare children!
I got a phone call from Emily.
Hi, I won a photo shoot with you in St.George’s Summer Fete raffle, can we do a shoot with my band? Emily was 12 at the time, not only a self-reliant and self-assured girl with a plan but also generous. She was looking to have some fun photos of the band for herself, but she also wanted to create something for other band members. With the supportive and backing of her family we were able to capture their time in the band and now all of them have storyboards in their rooms to remind them how it all began.
It warms my heart when I see children or grown-ups being kinder than necessary while pursuing their dreams.