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What is a 'credit of praise' and why you can't do without it in education: advice from a psychologist



There is such a concept "credit of praise". It is not issued in the bank, they cannot close financial issues, but in raising children, this loan cannot be done. She told about how to praise children correctly for Olga Novash, psychologist, mother and founder of the School of Parenting Skills.

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The topic of praise is actually my favorite. I watch the children and sometimes I think that if you praise them correctly, then the parents will not have to do anything more to raise them. Children will grow up self-confident and proactive, independent and self-sufficient, healthy self-esteem will allow them to fearlessly take on any life challenges.

A beautiful picture of the future, isn't it? For this, we need the so-called credit of praise, when we notice good things in another person, but not after the "feat" he has accomplished (a star brought from the sky, a mountain of washed dishes, an annual "dozen" in the diary), but as if in advance, in advance ... That is, we give the child a message that we believe in him.

This case, when the teacher checks the notebook of a new student not "to the fullest extent of the law," so that he is afraid, just in case, but gives him an extra point for his efforts, turns a blind eye to some corrections. And then the child responds to this advance of faith and returns a hundred times more.

Two striking examples from personal experience

I have seen many times how this works not only with small children, but even with tough guys. Last year, the youngest Masha unsuccessfully jumped in a dance lesson and stretched the ligaments on her leg. It was painful and scary, so the choreography became unloved. I quit ... And this year I asked to record her on vocals. But there, in order to perform on the big stage, it is also necessary to stage a dance. She went to the first lesson by force: "I will sing, but I don't want to dance!" But we agreed to try.

After the lesson, the teacher came out and said so many nice words: both about the smooth arms and about the long neck, that next time Masha, having rehearsed the dance at home more than once, could not wait for the choreography lesson.

And here is another example from my adult life. A few years ago, I took a job at a very masculine company with several hundred tough engineers. An innovative project from the future, a complex organizational structure, a large number of divisions - all this only exacerbated an already difficult situation. Sometimes it seemed that in the noise of so many voices it was impossible to hear each other, let alone come to an agreement.

And so, after reading books on raising children and closing my eyes, I decided to offer adult men something incredible: at the end of each workshop, choose a specialist whose opinion in the current moment has been most criticized by others, and ... praise him, speak, for that we can be grateful to him, how he helped the team and what are his strong qualities in general.

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At first, this proposal met with sharp opposition. People left the meeting room saying, “What nonsense! Who can tell you the truth! " And finding kind words for another was oh, how difficult it was. At first, listening to even good words from colleagues was a real challenge.

And after a few weeks it was already felt that everyone was waiting for those very last minutes of the meeting: who will be the object of praise this time? After a few weeks, it was much easier to see and tell the best in the person sitting next to him.

After some time, miracles began to happen. In the project, which was being implemented on the territory of two different countries, at a distance of several thousand kilometers, in different languages, synergy appeared: the thought of one person found continuation in the work of other departments, the call for help responded with the support of many people, where they used to argue, now they were looking optimal solution.

Praise should be right

If praise can transform and create in such a way, why then most often when asked "To praise or not to praise?" we, parents, answer: "Praise, but in moderation", "No, otherwise he will be proud" or "No, praise relaxes"?

It turns out, as in a joke, we simply do not know how to “cook” praise. At my recent trainings, adults tried on praise in a form familiar to us, and it turned out that it raises ... doubts: in themselves, in their abilities or in the person who utters these words. This means that it is not accepted and does not give the desired effect: it does not motivate some and forces others to unjustifiably abandon such an important and necessary tool not only in raising children, but also in building human relations in general.

Why it happens? Because most often the praise that we are accustomed to using contains an assessment, someone else's assessment.

Want an example? Imagine yourself in the following situations, while paying attention to your internal reactions.

Situation number 1. You are at work, and then your manager asks you to urgently prepare a presentation for potential partners of the company within half an hour. In general, you own the question, so you take on the task. But due to lack of time you do not have time to check all the data, some of them point to the peephole. " After the report, you will receive a review from one of the guests "Brilliant presentation!" How do you feel about it?

Situation number 2. The day turned out to be very active, and in the evening there will be a business dinner. And so you run home, quickly change your favorite and comfortable, but already very shabby jeans and a turtleneck sweater for a suit and go to a restaurant. There you hear from a colleague: "You always look so great!" I would like to at least mentally answer: "Yeah, you should have seen me half an hour ago."

"Where is the exit?" - you ask. Instead of evaluative praise (good, beautiful, beautiful, excellent, etc.), use descriptive praise. Just describe what you see or how you feel. And that will be the right praise.

For example: “Wow! I see that all the toys in this room are in their places! It's nice to go into it now. "

Or: “I am glad to look at the straight lines of these letters. They remind me of little soldiers lined up for a parade ”(you should have seen the first and last pages in my daughter Masha's notebook, as if you would have felt the difference).

Well, and one more example with my eldest daughter: “I'm glad to see your autumn boots in the corridor, as we agreed yesterday” (Anya bargained until the last for the moment when she would change her sneakers for warmer shoes, but still she kept it my word, and here I praised her twice: for the fact that she changed clothes for the cold season, and for keeping the word given to me).

Why descriptive praise is good

Oddly enough, but it cannot be ... stolen, because it consists of two parts:

1. First, we describe the child's actions or the events that follow them (but do not assess his personality), ⠀

2. And then he himself conducts his inner work, determines for himself who he is in this situation and what he already knows or can, what opportunities and abilities he has (“Oh! I can clean well and carefully”, “I have a beautiful handwriting "," I can keep promises. My word is the law ").

And it is precisely this self-given definition that will be difficult to devalue anyone in the future. After all, “You are good,” it is very easy to annul the subsequent “You are lazy”, to call a “beautiful” girl “sloppy” and so on.

The child, who himself "conjectures" his own merits, is less and less dependent on the evaluation of him by other people. His self-confidence grows, and he more and more often takes on more difficult tasks or takes the initiative.

Very often, after the trainings, parents come up to me and say: “But this is so unnatural” [praising the child not with the usual “well done”, but describing his actions].

I ask if you paid attention to the fact that if nothing is done or changed, then over time everything begins to naturally collapse, and then you have to engage in unnatural repairs. If you do nothing, then somehow a natural disorder appears in the house, and then you have to make an effort and take on an unnatural cleaning.

In upbringing, the same is true: if you do not change anything and continue to use the familiar and only for this reason, "natural" patterns that seem to us, then something may begin to collapse in relations with the child.

I had to learn descriptive praise, because my youngest daughter, after my “how smart you are,” could re-spread the bed or scatter pencils. But the phrase "The bedspread lies so even that there is not a single fold" left her quite satisfied. Most importantly, the more I used descriptions in my praise, the less it was required of me to remind her of this morning routine.

They say to me: "But such praise requires the constant attention of a parent." Yes, indeed, in order to describe the same child's drawing, you need to distract from everyday affairs or instant messengers and peer at it. But a child is a responsibility that we have taken upon ourselves not for a year, but forever. Of course, he doesn't need our attention 24/7. But if we decide to devote at least 15 minutes to him, then let it be 100% of his 15 minutes.

And they also ask me: "Why, after all, these common words" well done "," beautiful "or enthusiastic" brilliant "do not work?" Because such praise can touch upon our self-doubts, often even very old ones, and further reinforce them.

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Unfortunately, as a child, I was often told how rare my hair was that I believed it. And no later admiration of my friends “Oh, how I wish I had the same curly hair as yours” could convince me otherwise. My opinion of myself changed dramatically only when my hairdresser said: “Olya, is that you have rare hair ?! Yes, I have an increased consumption of paint for you! " She was not delighted, she just described what she sees.

We can tell the child: “What a beautiful dog you painted”, but according to the artist's idea it was a fox. And that's all - the child is embarrassed and already doubts his abilities. A couple more of these misfires, and he will generally refuse to take pencils in his hands. How many adults think they can draw? Minimum! And now you know why.

Do you want not only to praise, but also to contribute to the healthy self-esteem of your child? Describe how you like the selection of colors in the picture, what smooth circles or neat strokes are, and let him finish the rest about himself.

I hope I was able to convince you of the power and benefits of the right praise for the development of a child. And from now on it will become the main trend of the coming year in raising children.

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