U-GRO’s Blended Model® curriculum’s focus on the whole child requires that we consider the differences between praise and encouragement both at home and in the classroom as we work together to support our children’s growing self-esteem and the development of self-regulation skills.
What are the differences between encouragement and praise?
- Praise often comes paired with a judgment or evaluation, such as “best” or “good”
- Evaluative praise can create anxiety, invite dependency, or evoke defensiveness
- Rather than promoting self-esteem, praise can reinforce children to “perform” for what they think others expect of them, rather than for their own satisfaction
- Encouragement allows children to become self-motivated
- Giving a more descriptive recognition by being more precise about what you want to encourage turns simple praise statements into encouragement
It can be a challenge as we begin to turn our statements of praise into statements of encouragement. But when we stop ourselves from the easy words, “Good job!” and think about how to say it more meaningfully in specific terms, we become encouragers. The encouragement not only benefits our young learners, but us as well. Children gain a clear understanding of what and how they are doing. This leads to better self-regulation.