Lawrence E. Kincade, Ph.D., LCSW > Giving Positive Feedback to a Child


In addition to physical reinforcers, such as an affectionate pat on the shoulder, a smile or a "thumbs up" sign; positive, sincere statements can be most affirming for a child.  Here are some examples:

  • "I like it when you ___________________________."
  • "Thanks for _______________________________."
  • "That was terrific when you ______________________."
  • "My, you sure act grown up when you ________________."
  • "Wait until I tell Mom (Dad) how nice you were when you ______________________."
  • "You did that all by yourself when you ______________and I didn't have to remind you."
  • "I am really impressed by the way you _______________________."
  • "I know I don't say this often, but I really like it when you ______________________."
  • "I am very proud of you when you ______________________________."
  • "It makes me very happy to see you ______________________________."
  • "Just for behaving so well, you and I will ____________________________."

Try to be immediate with your praise.

Be specific with your praise.  Tell the child what you liked that he or she did well.

Avoid using "back-handed" compliments, such as:  "It's about time you did such a nice job cleaning your room," or "This is nice - so why can't you do this more often?"