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praise your child the right way

Praise Your Child The Right Way

Praise is an important part of raising a child with healthy self-esteem. The right kind of praise can make the difference between having a child with self-confidence and grit and a child who depends on outside praise for his sense of self-worth. Praise your child the right way with these 5 tips.

5 Tips to Praise Your Child the Right Way:praise your child the right way

  1. Be Specific: Instead of saying, “Good job!” say, “Good job staying focused and finishing all ten math problems. I’m so proud of you.” Being specific makes praise more meaningful because it attunes your child to his or her special effort or skill and makes that specific action or effort more motivating in the future.
  2. Praise the Process: Praise hard work, perseverance, and resilience, even if the objective was not reached. Success doesn’t always come on the first try. People aren’t always born with innate talents. Praise for the process encourages continued effort in the future.
  3. Pick Praiseworthy Situations: Praise is most effective and meaningful when given at times when your child is attempting to do something out of his or her normal pattern of behavior, for example: overcome a challenge, follow through on a difficult task, or put in extra effort.
  4. Know Your Child’s Strengths/Weaknesses: To identify praiseworthy situations, you need to be attuned to your child’s abilities. Praise is most needed when your child participates in a challenging activity or when he/she is concerned about his/her performance.
  5. Don’t Overdo It: Praise is extremely important, but praising your child for everything he or she does, can make your positive words meaningless. Make sure your praise is sincere.

Read here for more on the power of positive praise.

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help for a speech and language disorder in the classroom

Improving the Self-Esteem of Children with Speech and Language Disorders in the Classroom

Building up a child’s self-esteem is important for all children within typical development, however this may require special attention for children with speech and language disorders. Self-esteem is important as it affects how a person feels about themselves and ultimately how they behave and act.

For a child with a speech or language disorder, maintaining a high self-esteem may be difficult.help for a speech and language disorder in the classroom

In a study completed by Jerome, Fujiki, Brinton and James, it was found that children with specific language impairments have a significantly lower perception of themselves than their typically developing peers by the age of 10 (2002). This difference in self-esteem was especially evident in the areas of academic competence, social acceptance and behavioral skills. Being aware of a child’s vision of their own self-worth is important for all adults in a child’s life – parents, teachers, clinicians, etc. Low self-esteem could have a negative impact on a child’s social relationships, mental health and academic performance.

The classroom offers a unique and accessible environment to provide a child with positive interactions to improve his or her self – esteem.

Here are some simple tips to implement during your daily classroom life which may have a positive effect on a child’s self-esteem:

  • Make time for one on one interactions with the child. Demonstrate that you are actively listening. Maintain eye contact and acknowledge what the child says. These are important components of listening.
  • Provide positive praise for things the child does, whether the actions or big or small.
  • Educate other students on speech and language disorders. As a teacher, you could hold a peer educational day in order to increase children’s understanding of their peers.
  • Be a role model for other students by demonstrating how to communicate with someone who at times may be difficult to understand. Try to concentrate and be patient with the child. Set up positive social interactions between the child and an appropriate peer.
  • When possible try to decrease frustrations for the child by eliminating distractions and giving the child enough time to communicate. Speak with his or her speech-language pathologist to better understand the errors the child typically makes when communicating. Importantly, try not to finish the child’s sentences, rather than letting the child speak for him or herself.

If a child’s low self-esteem is judged to be significantly interfering with a child’s ability to perform in academic and social situations, additional steps should be taken. Observing a speech-language pathologist interact with the child may provide further suggestions for successful communication. Contact a social worker through North Shore Pediatric Therapy for additional support.



Reference: Jerome, A. C., Fujiki, M., Brinton, B., & James, S. L. (2002). Self-esteem in children with specific language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 45, 700 – 714.

Building Self-Esteem in Children

Building Self-Esteem in Children

A child’s self-esteem is very important as it helps with his daily successes. If a child is able to start off the day with a positive outlook then the child will be able to follow directions in class and become a better learner. A child can build self-esteem by forming and maintaining positive relationships with family, friends and other people he comes in contact with, for example, teachers, therapists and other adults. A child can also build self-esteem when he hears positive praise, when he does something good or when he is able to learn and master new skills. Often times a barrier can be placed in front of a child that will cause him to lose his self-esteem. Negative comments from people such as adults or bullies are the fastest thing that can tear a child down.

How can we teach our kids self-esteem?Building Self-Esteem in Children

  1. Praise the child
  2. Be there for the ups and downs. Use the down times for teaching and educating.
  3. Accept the child for who they are
  4. Allow the child to be themselves
  5. Don’t just celebrate the wins but teach from the loses

Is there a point where you are being too positive and too much of a cheerleader?

Children need to know that they are supported in every arena they enter. When it starts to hinder the child is when realistic expectations start to be forgotten and children are expected to do things that are over his head. Too much cheerleading can cause the child to lose hold of what is expected and what is required. There needs to be a fine line with building positive self- esteem and enabling children.






tips to improve your child's self esteem

Tips to Enhance Your Child’s Self Esteem

Try these tips to enhance your child’s self-esteem

Self-esteem impacts the choices we make, the company we keep, and the desire to take risks. Without a positive self-image, children run the risk of experiencing negative peer relationships, social withdrawal, and reduced confidence in their capabilities.

By adding a strengths-based vocabulary and opportunities for your child to shine, you can encourage increased motivation and positive feelings of self in your child.

Adding a strengths-based vocabulary allows you to frame your dialogue in a positive, support language.

Using words like “you could” vs. “you should” promotes a sense of control and confidence in your child’s capabilities.  Challenging your child to replace words like “can’t” with “can” gives ownership over the task and enhances the desire to try new things and enter into new situations. For example, instead of saying, “I can’t do my math, it’s too hard,” it would be better to rephrase that as, “My math is hard but I can ask for help.  I can work on my other work first that is easier, and I can try my best and continue to practice getting the correct answer.” As a parent you can encourage your child to replace her negative vocabulary with the positive.

Offer positive words of praise.

Whether your child has succeed in task or not does not matter; try to identify the positives that exist including effort that was exuded, the skills that were still acquired ( i.e. new time management skills, new friends in the process), and the success of putting herself out there to try something new. Additionally, it is important to highlight what your child’s strengths are, and continue to find outlets to let them shine. If your child is more of a creative, artistic type, enroll her in extra-curriculars that allows her to tap into her strengths. It is not to say that she should NEVER try something outside of her comfort zone, though, because through this she can learn more about herself. But it is important to provide your child with balanced opportunities to excel and grow.

The Power of Positive Praise

One of the most valuable tools I’ve found when working with children, is positive praise. As a therapist, it’s easy to notice what’s going awry, and tempting to “correct” children when they’re not achieving a desired skill. However, kids with speech and A plus signlanguage difficulties are often well aware of what’s not going well, and might feel discouraged or shut down by too many corrections.
We want kids to feel confident with their communication skills, and eager to share their thoughts and ideas. Positive praise helps children become more aware of what they’re doing well, and more eager to continue trying. While it’s certainly not wrong to correct children (in fact it’s valuable during appropriate times), it’s important to give children plenty of positive feedback. Here are 5 principles to consider when giving your child positive praise.

Using positive praise to encourage your child’s skills:

1. Look for the positive. Search for things your child is doing well. At times this might feel challenging. Perhaps you want your child to be a better listener, and currently they’re facing the other direction while you’re talking. Nevertheless, look for any small indicators that your child is listening (e.g. “Wow! I like the way you’re not talking. You are a good listener when you’re not talking while I’m talking.”). Then offer a suggestion to improve (e.g. “Turn your body this way so I can see your eyes. Wow, you’re such a good listener when you’re looking at me.”)

2. Tell your child what’s going well. Give them verbal praise about what they are doing well. Show your child you’re excited and proud of their behavior, by letting them know. You can teach your child to be excited about their skills, by being excited for them.

3. Give specific feedback. Instead of simply saying “good job”, tell your child why they are doing a good job. By using specific and descriptive language, you will raise your child’s awareness of what they are doing well. This will increase their likelihood and motivation to repeat the same behavior again. For example, you might say “Wow, I like the way you let me go first! It’s so fun to play with you when you let other people take a turn first.”

4. Be quick to praise. Praise your child as quickly as possible so positive behaviors are immediately reinforced. For example, if your child gives a toy to their sibling, you might immediately say “You gave the bear to John. You are so good at sharing. I like the way you shared.” It may not always be possible to provide praise in the moment (for example, if your child is at school or at a friend’s house), however, you can still recount the positives at the end of the day by using specific feedback.

5. Guide your child through positive language. When giving your child constructive feedback, try to use positive language. For example, instead of saying “not quite”, tell your child “almost!”, or instead of saying “that’s not right”, tell your child “You’re so close! You’re working so hard!”. Additionally, when encouraging your child to try something challenging, avoid asking “Will you…?” or “Can you…?”, and try telling them “It’s time to …” or “You can…”. If “no” is not an option, then avoid presenting tasks as a yes/no question.

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