Baby's First Year · Parenting

A recipe for praise

Child painting with their father giving each other high 5

As a parenting group facilitator, many parents/caregivers have asked me “will praising my child spoil them or feed their ego?” Actually, praising children nurtures their growing brain with positive attention, love and reinforces that you believe in them while fostering self-motivation in your child.

There are key ingredients to praising effectively which apply to both children and adults – it’s not just about saying “good job“.

When was the last time you got praised?

How did it feel?

It feels good doesn’t it! Especially when it’s genuine and descriptive.

“Praise and encourage your child when she tries hard, and when she succeeds”
~ Nobody’s Perfect program

Here’s a praise recipe you can try:


Loving parent/caregiver 1 or more
Child 1 or more
Pick a behaviour or effort (e.g. washing hands) praise each time you see it
Your smile unlimited


Child kisses parent on the cheek while giving a high five

  1. Praise from your heart – in other words, say it like you mean it. Sometimes our mood may make it hard to praise. The more you offer praise the easier it gets.
  2. Start with one behaviour that your child needs to learn such as washing hands or toilet training
  3. Praise small steps or efforts instead of the end result. For example:

Child: “pee-pee mommy”
Parent/Caregiver: “You’re listening to your body, good for you!

  1. Be a positive example. Praise yourself or other adults in your child’s life, eg., “this is my first time making muffins, I am proud of myself”- how wonderful for your child to see and hear their loved ones being praised.

For some added flavour: give a hug, a high five or thumbs up with your praise!

So how about a little praise for your loved ones today!

Learn more about positive discipline strategies

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