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The Language of Encouragement

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How to Encourage Your Child

Today I gave a presentation to the moms group that meets in the Beaches at the St. John’s Norway church.  We were talking about encouragement versus praise, and I promised I would post some examples of encouragement statements on my site. Here you go, gang (and P.S. – thanks for the lovely mums and for letting me bring me girls with me to–ah–“co-present” :))!

The Special Language of Encouragement

Phrases that demonstrate acceptance:
“I like the way you handled that.”
“I like the way you tackle a problem.”
“I’m glad you enjoy learning.”
“I am glad you are pleased with it. ”
“Since you are not satisfied, what do you think you can do so that you will be pleased with it?”
“It looks as if you enjoyed that.”
“How do you feel about it?”

Phrases that show confidence:
“Knowing you, I’m sure you’ll do fine.”
“You’ll make it.”
“I have confidence in your judgment.”
“That’s a rough one, but I am sure you’ll work it out.”
“You’ll figure it out.”

Phrases that focus on contributions, assets, and appreciation:
“Thanks; that helped a lot.”
“It was thoughtful of you to.”
“Thanks, I really appreciate_____________, because it makes my job easier.”
“I need your help on ________.”
To a family group: “I really enjoyed today. Thanks.”
“You have skill in __________. Would you do that for the family?”

Phrases that recognize improvement:
“It looks as if you really worked hard on that.”
“It looks as if you spent a lot of time thinking that through.”
“I see that you’re moving along.”
“Look at the progress you’ve made.” (Be specific, tell how.)
“You’re improving in _________.” (Be specific.)
“You may not feel that you’ve reached your goal, but look at how far you’ve come!”

About Alyson

Alyson has been blogging parenting advice for over 15 years. She has been a panelist at BlogWest, Blissdom, #140NYC and more. Her content appears on sites across Canada and the US, but you can read all her own blog posts right here.

More about Alyson

2 Responses to “The Language of Encouragement”

  1. Nancy Bates

    I am the tutoring coordinator at the University of Baltimore and I’d like your permission to use The Language of Encouragement in my Tutoring Manual with your permission

    • alyson

      Thanks for your interest in the material. The author is Dr Jane Nelson of Positive Parenting and she should be person who grants permission ( which I am certain she will). Thanks for your interest!


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