Why You Shouldn’t Only Say “Good job!”

How many times a day do you hear yourself saying, “Good job!”? We always want to ensure that we are praising our little ones for the amazing things that they are doing…. BUT, what if I told you there is a different way to think about it?

Let me set the scene-

If tell my daughter “Good job” when she is was coloring a picture. That picture included her name (which she has been working very hard on including an upper case ‘C’ and lower case ‘a-i-r-a’). The picture also included coloring outside of the lines.

How would she know which behavior I was actually praising her for? Was I praising the AMAZING name that she just wrote? Or, does she think that I am praising her for the messy color job?

Good Job Coloring

Providing Specific Praise

Instead of just saying “Good Job”, I try to use specific praise! If we are still using the above scenario, I would say, “Caira, I LOVE how well you wrote your name! Look at your lower case letters!”

5 Year old Drawing in a book

This tells her EXACTLY why I love her drawing. It also reinforces the new behavior that she has been working so hard one. The hope is that it will increase the likelihood for future occurrences. Another benefit; it doesn’t seem so rote. If you are constantly “mixing it up” in terms of how you praise your child, your kiddo will probably take in the feedback a little better! Who doesn’t want appropriate behaviors to continue to be exhibited? I know I do!!

Furthermore, if the only phrase they ever hear is, “Good job!”, they will probably tend to ignore that and just keep doing what they are doing. The reason- they’ve already heard it a million times…

Keep. It. Fresh!

Try it out…

I challenge you to try and provide specific praise to your kiddo this week. See if it makes a difference. It is a small change in your behavior that can make a HUGE impact in their behavior.


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