Commandment 14 of Rights-Based Communication with Children: Use Praise

Hello fellow custodians, sure we are doing great today. I am here again to share with you from the bottom of my heart the commandments of Right-Based Communication with children. Today, I am discussing with you that for us to make the best of our communication with children; we must be ready to give them the praise they deserve. Beyond the praise they deserve, we must also learn to praise in anticipation of a particular set of behaviour we expect from them.

Please note that contrary to popular belief, praise does not spoil a child; only lack of discipline does.  Again praise is a boost to the child’s dignity of human person. Therefore we must make a commitment to make praise part of our communication style with children. This becomes an important admonition by virtue of the kind of society we live in. Majority of us do not believe that children deserve praise and therefore it is either kicked out of our dictionary of meaningful communication with children or it has been removed to the back page.

I think instead of always looking for something to chastise in our children, we should always search for something to praise. The truth is that if we look for something to praise, we will always find it; we always find whatever we are looking for. If we look for something to praise, we will always find and if we look for something to chastise we will always find.

I am not saying children should be spoilt with praise, but we must study a chain of events very well and identify areas where the child has done well, praise him for that. What happens most of the time is that when a child does six things wrong and does four right in the course of the day, we allow the six wrong things to overshadow the four right things. Therefore, we are so upset by the six that we never give any attention to the four. The six are put under a magnifying glass, while the four is tucked away in a dark corner. This has grave consequences on the child and what the child is going to believe about himself. The child is going to believe that he does not only do things wrong but he is a wrong child. Please note that the child derives his self concept from the part of him that the custodians affirm. Therefore we need to be very careful.

How do we use praise? We do not use praise to give the child the impression that he is perfect. Not at all. For example, a child lies to you and you later found out. In teaching the child to always say the truth, you may chastise him for telling a lie but you must not fail to affirm to him what you believe of him. You must let him know your expectations of him, that you see him as a truthful child, who will always tell the truth. When you handle the matter this way, you have sown the seed of trust in the child through faith and praise and it will surely germinate.

I think I should sign out here. Thank you for visiting today. Sure you learnt one or two things on how to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY and Think the FUTURE.


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One comment

  1. On the contrary, parents prefer to damn their children. Sometimes I think some adults are just waiting for what you’d do wrong to criticise you. May be African parents are just stingy with praises.

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