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