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List of Encouraging Words and Actions

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Examples of Encouragement

Encouragement is one of THE most important concepts for parents to understand.  All misbehaviour stems from a child’s feeling of discouragement and the “prescription” or “cure” or “prevention” of misbehaviors comes from parents learning to be encouraging to their children.  Encouragement is NOT praise.  Praise is simply a reward that is verbal in nature.   Praise is doled out by some person who stands in judgment of another’s actions, who only recognizes the completed and perfect work of another.  Encouragement on the other hand is non-judgmental. It conveys the message that you are fine just the way you are, and gives recognition to a persons willingness to try and to improve and to be helpful and useful.

Encouragement is not just words, but also thoughts and actions.  Here is a list of ways to be more encouraging that is from a hand out created by the good folks at Kinderschool Adlerian Nursery School:

Encouraging Words

  • you’re capable
  • I’m glad you are here
  • you can do it
  • keep on trying
  • go for it
  • you figured it out
  • you worked really hard
  • your input is appreciated
  • what will you do?
  • that showed a lot of courage
  • thank  you
  • you can think for yourself
  • what do you think we should do?
  • it’s okay to cry
  • it’s okay to make mistakes
  • thumbs up
  • how do you feel
  • thanks for your help
  • you’re lovable
  • good speaking up
  • tell me about it
  • you’re trustworthy
  • I trust you to decide for yourself

Encouraging Actions

  • be enthusiastic
  • smile
  • dance
  • focus on the positive
  • disengage from the misbehaviour
  • give attention when it is not being demanded
  • laugh together
  • cry together
  • do a job together
  • share joys and wishes
  • show empathy
  • notice effort
  • don’t praise
  • don’t criticize
  • share joys and wishes
  • spend time together
  • ask for input
  • very little emphasis on outcome
  • listen without judgement
  • REALLY listen
  • have faith
  • let them contribute
  • don’t expect instant gratification
  • give opportunities for achievement
  • give recognition
  • give appreciation
  • let them help you
  • let them know you need their help
  • ask if they need help to finish
  • make eye contact
  • have confidence
  • no nagging
  • no blaming
  • no labelling
  • no threatening
  • be firm and friendly
  • let them acknowledge other people’s contributions
  • let them speak
  • ask what they think
  • give a hug
  • read a book together
  • smile some more
  • say what you mean and mean what you say
  • have positive expectations
  • give them responsibility
  • let them delegate
  • say YES as much as possible
  • watch your tone of voice
  • watch your body language
  • show affection
  • re-direct them
  • be consistent
  • be respectful
  • notice what is positive
  • let go of control and power
  • show love and care
  • communicate positively
  • ignore undesirable behaviour
  • don’t tell them twice
  • Take time for training them on a new skill
  • be calm
  • don’t take it personally
  • be kind
  • have fun together and as a whole family
  • draw on strengths
  • have a sense of humour
  • ACTIONS not words
  • share a talent or interest
  • lead by example
  • have group discussions (family meetings)
  • give chores
  • say “I LOVE YOU”

About Alyson

Alyson was an early adopters of blogging. Her parenting blog was a case example in the book "Naked Conversations - How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers" by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. You can find her articles on various parenting portals on the web.

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