54 Ways To Engage A Child

Yesterday on twitter, one of my very best friends on there (@birthroutes at Birth Routes) posted a question, “Anyone else think magnets of 101 ways to praise a child can be the fast track to unhappy externally motivated children?” and posted a link to THIS.

When I was growing up, we always got praised for good work and critiqued for bad work. We learned to fail or succeed so we learned a good work ethic and we were proud of the work we did ourselves. We didn’t rely on what our parents told us and we believed in ourselves.
About a year ago I learned that sports teams were giving every team trophies whether they won or not. To me, this seems so very wrong. If you are rewarding everyone the same, why would anyone even try? I know I wouldn’t. It isn’t fair to the people that try harder to get rewarded evenly.
Now, I am not saying that the people that lose shouldn’t be congratulated. That’s just sportsmanship. But, they should not be held to the same caliber as the team that wins. If that makes sense at all haha.
So, Amber and I started going back and forth with ways you can educationally engage a child instead of just saying “well done” or “good job.” I know that with both of those, they seem like what you did doesn’t matter. No one paid attention to it, and they are just giving the random answer that comes easiest.
I have always wanted to raise my children with a strong work ethic and the drive to be proud of themselves. I don’t want them to have to completely rely on what I tell them. Of course, they will know I love and am very proud of them, but they will grow up with self confidence and the love of their own work.
Here is the link to Amber’s post (she says it a lot better than I ever could). I would recommend everyone to get to know her. She is absolutely incredible! A doula, a nanny, and trying to conceive her first child. She is one of my very favorite people, and a very amazing woman.
Without further ado, the list of ways to praise a child:

  • I’m having so much fun with you.
  • You teach me new things everyday
  • It makes me so sad when you cry out of frustration, how can I help you finish that?
  • Your ideas are so creative, I wouldn’t have thought about that!
  • My arms are tired of cleaning, you must be since you’ve been working so hard. Lets cuddle instead.
  • The way you line up your stuffies is really adorable, they looks so comfortable and cozy together.
  • Oh wow, looks like you are expressing anger in this picture, want to talk about.
  • If I lift you above my head, will you clean the fixtures, it might be fun!
  • May I help you? Looks like that is difficult for you.
  • When I have to clean the corners, I get frustrated, but you do it so easily!
  • The way you lined up all those red cars in a row makes me smile, I love how much convoys make you happy.
  • I wouldn’t have done that that way, but your way works better.
  • You make cleaning longer, but much more fun!
  • When I see you concentrating like that, I always wonder what you are thinking, want to tell me?
  • Your attention to detail is fascinating, I love watching you learn/create/enjoy your things/space
  • Huh, that is a different way to think about that.
  • I see how hard you are trying, would you like me to help you?
  • I love sleeping in a freshly made bed, do you?
  • But sometimes I like to dig under the messy covers too!
  • That showed a lot of responsibility/care/effort
  • Describe to me what your picture is, I’d love to know if you want to share with me.
  • When I draw, I always feel so free, how about you?
  • I love having a clean home, feels so lovely.
  • Do you like what you drew? How do the colours make you feel? I am enjoying watching you draw, your perspective is original.
  • When you help me, we get done so much faster. When we work together it feels great doesn’t it? Thank you, I appreciate it.
  • What should we do with this picture? Keep it, hang it up, give it to someone, recycle it, rip it up, frame it?
  • What were you feeling when you drew this? Were you pressing really hard, this line is dark! How would this look with crayon?
  • I love the way you laugh! Instead of That joke was funny
  • Show me how you did this!
  • I would have never thought to do that that way
  • I’m proud of you, could be, Are you proud of yourself? If they say yes, you can say, I am too!
  • thanks for helping
  • That was fun
  • It feels great when you help
  • I care that you’ve made the effort
  • Is that an elephant?!
  • Did you like building that?
    Are you fighting with your brother/sister for a reason? How about we sit and talk through it instead
  • I think we should make some playdough. Want to help? You can help me mix it together and pick the colors
  • How about we finish here and then you can pick what to have for dinner. Deal?
  • I think we should go for a walk as a break. Where do you want to go? That’s a great idea. I’m so glad you mentioned it
  • Would you like to help me change the baby’s diaper? You always know how to keep her happy while we do it
  • Did you have a dream about what you drew here? Seems like it was a funny dream!
  • I think the castle is missing one thing. Do you know what it might be?
  • Wow where did you get your hat? I wanted one of those but it looks so much better on you
  • You’re working pretty hard, want to take a break with me and have some cold lemonade? And then I will help you finish
  • Where did you learn to wash dishes like a pro? They are so clean you could eat off of them
  • Your room looks so great! Doesn’t it feel good to have the floor clean and the toys put away?
  • Did you do this by yourself? Wow that must have taken a lot of work. I love the detail you put into it!
  • Do you think playing the game was fun? What would you change for next time?
  • I am so grateful for your help today. It would have taken so much more time if I had to do it alone. Thank you so much
  • Did you choose this color to show something special or important? it really adds to the picture
  • You played a great game today! What were your favorite parts? Did you enjoy the other teams plays?
  • I love how you drew this animal, is it thinking something special? Did you line these blocks like this to show something? What does it show?
  • I love how u used the bright colors instead of saying thats a pretty picture
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    2 Responses

    1. Hey, Kayce. I'm stopping by from The Prudent Woman. I've enjoyed reading the many birth stories you post and I'm tagging you for a High 5 Meme. http://theprudentwoman.blogspot.com

    2. Aw, these are so sweet. 🙂 Thank you for sharing!I gave you an award over at my blog. :)http://alannasvanillabean.blogspot.com/2010/01/ive-been-awarded.html

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