Praise plays an important part in shaping the ways in which children see themselves – and their identities – going into adulthood.
But the type of praise offered really matters: it’s to do with the quality, not the quantity. So instead of saying the default “well done” or “good job” try these alternative praise strategies …
1. Before you praise, ask questions
When a child brings up their artwork to you, it can be tempting to say: “Great job!” but instead, pause, and then ask a question like:
- “How did you do that?”
- “Which bit was the trickiest?”
- “Which bit is your favourite?”
- “Is there a story here?”
Note: If you’re just introducing these kinds of questions with your child, after praising their artwork in the past, be prepared for some ‘I don’t knows’ at first, because they will be used to hearing praise first. Be patient, and persevere.