The child must see that you truly notice its effort sometimes, not just the mistakes and shortcomings.
It is not enough from time to time to say “good kid”, “wise kid” or whatever you say, because if you use only one same expression, they can sometimes be understood as auto repeat without sincerity. After all, these simple examples of praise actually don’t intend to encourage future good behavior, but only to emphasize the usual positive attributes of the child. Sentences that actually encourage the child to a certain acceptable behavior are more focused on what and how the child has done, and not on who has done it. It helps the child to appreciate the value of such hard work, improvement, cooperation with others, perseverance.
Incentive sentences can be very simple, such as: “Thanks for your help!” Or “You’ve really made an effort”, or any of the following:
- You can be proud of yourself!
- See how you mastered that!
- This is the result of your hard work!
- You’ve really made an effort to clean your room!
- It seems like you really enjoy that thing!
- Thank you for helping me set the table, now it looks much better.
- I’ve noticed that you’ve been very patient with your brother. Thank you.
- What do you think about that?
- Your effort paid off!
- This is a difficult task, but you’re going to make it out! Try again.
- Look how far you’ve got!
- I have confidence in your decision.
- The time you’ve put into this task, really pays off.
- I love to be with you!
- It’s well contrived!
- I see that you really care about that!
- Thank you for the idea that you gave me!
- You’re doing that with such ease!
- I see you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it!
- I really feel that we are a team when we work together like this!
Of course, none of this makes sense, if you do not really mean it, or when say it when the child does not deserve. Depending on the child’s age and abilities, these sentences can be easily modified and updated. Do not miss to notice the glow in the eyes of your child after a job well done and your remarks, because we all need a boost from time to time in order to feel better and more valuable and see that it’s appreciated. Therefore, don’t be cheap in giving such compliments, and give them not only to your children, but also your partner and co-workers and all those who truly deserve it.