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Praise vs Encouragement

Praise and encouragement are two different things. Praise is a quick, verbal ‘reward’ parents give when they like their child’s behaviour. Encouragement, on the other hand, is more descriptive. It draws your child’s attention to his or her own actions. It helps children know why their actions are helpful and appreciated. Encouragement often helps children feel good about themselves and builds their ability to rely on themselves.

Here are the differences between Praise and Encouragement.

Definition1. To express favourable judgment of
2. To glorify, especially by attribution of perfection
3. An expression of approval
1. To inspire with courage
2. To spur on: stimulate
AddressesThe doer;
“Good Girl.”
The deed;
“Good job.”
FocusesOn doing it right and the end product;

“You did it right.”
On the effort, improvement and the process;

“You gave it your best.” Or, “How do you feel about what you accomplished?”
AttitudePatronizing, manipulative;

“That’s a good drawing. I’m so proud of you.”
Respectful, appreciative;

“You kept trying even though you were frustrated with that writing and you did it.”
Used most often withChildren;

“You’re such a good girl.”

“Thanks for helping to set the table for dinner”
Examples“I’m proud of you for getting an A”

(This take away the child’s ownership of his or her achievement.)
“That A reflects your hard work.”

(This recognises the child’s ownership and responsibility for effort.)
TeachesWhat to think. – Children change depend on the evaluation of others.How to think – Children want to change for themselves.
Effect on sense of worthFeel worthwhile when others approveFeel worthwhile without the approval of others
Long-term effectDependence of othersSelf-confidence, self-reliance

Use encouragement more often than praise can help your children learn to think for themselves and get along better with others. Encouragement helps develop children’s self-confidence and self-esteem in the long term.