U-GRO Learning Centres

Praise vs. Encouragement: Understanding the Difference

Encouragement is essential to building a child’s confidence and self-esteem. Many parents may understand the importance of encouraging children, but they may confuse encouragement with praise. What may seem like an encouragement could in fact be praise. In this blog post, we explain the differences between praise and encouragement.

What are the differences between encouragement and praise?

Again, the two concepts can easily be mistaken for each other without even realizing it. Praise tends to focus on judgments, which in turn can lead to anxiety or pressure to manage expectations.

Encouragement statements, on the other hand, focus on acknowledging the child’s capabilities. This type of statement should inspire rather than tell.

Why is it important to encourage children?

It can be a challenge to get into the habit of turning our statements of praise into comments of encouragement. Praise is much more immediate than encouragement, so it can be easy to fall into the habit of using praise statements.

When we stop ourselves from falling back on simple phrases like, “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 based on specific feedback.

Once children learn that qualities such as perseverance and effort are valuable, they begin to incorporate these qualities into their daily life. Your continued encouragement can help your children to develop a habit of positive self-talk, leading to greater self-regulation in the long run.

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.