There used to be a popular saying that went something like this: "Children should be seen and not heard." However, we "modern" parents know that this doesn't apply so much to the kids of today. Instead of forbidding our children to speak their mind, we encourage them to be vocal, "use their words" and express their feelings.
In the same vein, we parents are also usually more expressive of our thoughts and emotions with our children. We do our best to communicate with them as effectively as possible, and try to be vocal with them too.
Some of the things we try to be vocal about are our kids' efforts or achievements. In other words, we praise our kids when needed.
However, how do we know when our kids need to be praised or not?
Recognize efforts or achievements Dr. Celine Germar, an adult and child psychiatrist affiliated with the University of the East-Ramon Magsaysay Medical Center, says that praising our children is considered a good thing when they express our sincere recognition of our children’s efforts or achievements. "Praising helps them develop an appreciation of their accomplishments and makes them motivated to take on new challenges," she explains.
Margaux A. Cruz, an engineer and mompreneur, and mom to Aidan, 4, and Tristan, 11 months, agrees that praise is good for children. "In our experience, our four-year-old son seems to gain more self-confidence whenever we praise his achievements, however little they may be," she shares. "Whenever he does something good all by himself, or if he did a good deed or helped us, we make it a point to praise him and tell him why we are praising him. I'm not sure if my 11-month-old baby already understands but we also applaud his efforts and achievements. He seems to like it because he claps his hands."
Trisha H. Lim, another mompreneur, who is mom to Sasha, 5, Tasha, 3, and Shandy, 1, agrees with Margaux: "I think praising our kids is a good thing because it helps boost their self-confidence and lets them feel appreciated and loved!"
Michelle S. Llaban, a real estate agent and mom to Sev Philip, 5, Kaitlyn, 3, and Max, nine months, shares how praise is part of their nighttime ritual: "Every night, just before sleeping, I take time to talk to my children, especially Sev. I compliment him for all the good things he has done for the day like, 'Son, thank you for being so kind and so patient with your sister, and for being obedient to your daddy.' It affirms him and makes him more confident about himself. It also allows me to correct him lovingly for the things he didn't do well for the day."
Ruby Louise Quintal, entrepreneur, real estate broker and mom to 19-month-old Robyn, says she makes it a point to praise her daughter whenever she does something good, like when she helps her keep her toys, when she sings and dances or when she correctly names the pictures in her book. "It motivates her to do these good things again," Ruby adds.
Melissa Encarnacion, a treasury manager and mom to Varic, 8, and Anika, 5, says that while praising kids is good for them, it should be in the right context. "As a mom to two young kids, I believe that it is important that they get affirmation and praise for good behavior. As parents, we should be the first ones to do that for them. It helps build their confidence, allows them to know the consequences of doing good or bad and there is that assurance that we are always there to support them."