Praise Versus Encouragement

Most parents want to show their children that they are loved and valued. One of the ways parents can show their love is through praise. However, praise alone can actually do more harm than good to a child's self-esteem. The solution for parents is simple: find ways to incorporate encouraging language in their everyday interactions with their child.

What is the difference between praise and encouragement?

Praise is typically general, and focuses on a child's action or the result of those actions.  For example, you may tell your child, “You did a good job.” after he brushes his teeth, emphasizing the “action” or “thing” that he did.  Encouragement, however, is specific and focuses on the child.  After your child brushes his teeth, you might encourage him to continue brushing properly by saying, “Tell me what you did to get your teeth so clean.” or even asking him "How do you feel about brushing your teeth?" 

 Why do children need encouragement more than praise?

When children receive constant praise, they are more likely to focus on the opinions of others as their validation.  It is not unusual for a child to think to himself: “Do you like what I'm doing (or what I did)?” or “Are you proud of me?” However, the constant need for external validation can cause to children to lose their sense of identity and self-worth. They will no longer find joy in accomplishing a task for themselves, but will do it to gain the approval of others.  

 When children are encouraged, they learn the importance of effort, progress, resilience, and improvement, rather than just the result. Also, they understand that they are loved, despite the circumstances.   

 How can parents begin incorporating more encouragement into their relationships with children?

·   Be present to be able to ask specific questions about what their child did or is doing. 

·  Change your language by focusing on your child and not his action

·  Be careful about using rewards. Rewards, like praise, can put too much emphasis on the action. 

 

 Photo Credit: Picklebums.com

Photo Credit: Picklebums.com

LUME Highlights

Over the past 12 months LUME has experienced growth, new partnerships, and moments we want to celebrate with our community. Below are highlights from 2017-2018: 

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  1. With the St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund, LUME co-hosted a School to Prison Pipeline Symposium focusing on the importance of early childhood education.
  2. Four LUME teachers were honored with the “Teacher of the Year” award thanks to the generosity of the Kemp Foundation. They were given paid time off, a stipend, and coaching to support them with special classroom projects.
  3. LUME completed five key hires (Dir. of Business Operations, Dir. of Strategic Fundraising, Dir. of Strategic Marketing and Engagement, Workforce Development Project Manager, Program Evaluation Coordinator, and Curriculum Writer).
  4. LUME partnered with Vroom, a national movement to empower children and families with brain building moments.

  5. LUME was selected to participate in Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child’s Innovation in Action Workshop.

  6. LUME’s Department of Labor registered apprenticeship for unemployed and underemployed workers started two cohorts (the complete program is 2 years/4,000 hours).