Raising Tweens: How to Use Labeled Praise to Encourage Positive Behaviors in Preteens by Bri Montoya

6 years ago

Raising Tweens: How to Use Labeled Praise to Encourage Positive Behaviors in Preteens

I live with a preteen. This means that some days are smooth sailing and other days are like navigating choppy waters during a thunderstorm (with a leaky boat). It’s an easy time to fall into nagging and criticizing. Recently, I’ve realized how important it is to catch him being positive and offer true and genuine praise to increase these behaviors (versus just correcting). A great tool I learned is the use of labeled praise.

Labeled praise is specific praise that lets your child know exactly what it is they are doing that is positive. For example, if my preteen made his bed I could use labeled praise and say, “You did an excellent job making your bed.” Then, he knows exactly what he did that is deserving of praise. When a parent says something like, “I’m proud of you for completing all of your homework before asking to play games,” versus unlabeled praise like “great job” or “way to go,” the message can be more impactful. You’re not only helping increase positive behavior, but also strengthening your parent-child relationship.

I encourage you to catch your child doing something positive today and use labeled praise to let him or her know you appreciate that behavior.

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Elisa Schmitz
Wow, great info! I had not heard that phrase "labeled praise" before. I can definitely see why this is important. Thank you for sharing, Bri Montoya !
Bri Montoya
Labeled praise can be especially helpful if your child is leaning a new skill or behavior! I’m glad you enjoyed the tip!
Ann Marie Patitucci
I hadn’t heard this term either, Bri, but you’re spot on! Thanks for sharing this. I have a pre-teen so this is just what I needed today!
Bri Montoya
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead We have been struggling some with demanding behaviors. I've found this tool really useful in combating that behavior. When he's NOT being demanding we praise him ("I appreciate when you kindly ask me for a ride"), which seems to cut down on the times we just have to correct. Seems to ease some of my frustration, as well as his!
Elisa Schmitz
Very insightful, Bri Montoya . I am going to try this with my teenagers and see if it still works at that age, LOL! It certainly can't hurt... ;-)

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