Comment on good behavior in the moment to acknowledge it.

How to Acknowledge Children's Accomplishments

by Melissa Gagnon

"Mommy, look what I did! Daddy, watch me ride my bike!" Young children are constantly seeking approval for their accomplishments. You may find yourself guilty of responding too often with phrases such as "good job" or "great work." If you really want to acknowledge your young child's accomplishments and make him feel like the super star he is, praise your child for specific reasons and point out when he does something really well. A little praise can go a long way in building the self-esteem of a preschooler or toddler when given in sincerity and with thought.

1 Give your child your full attention when he asks you to watch him show off his newly acquired puzzle-making skills or when he comes to you with his newest artistic creation.

2 Look him in the eye and give him a compliment specific to his accomplishment, such as "wow, you really made that puzzle quickly" or "I like how you chose to draw butterflies and used many different colors for the wings."

3 State what your child has done in comparison to his previous accomplishments to acknowledge progress or improvement. "You wrote your name all on your own today for the first time" or "Earlier you only picked up two toys and just now, I saw you clean up all your toys."

4 Find something you admire about your child's picture and comment on that aspect, such as "I see you used red for the balloons. Red is one of my favorite colors." Be honest in your praise.

5 Take your child's photo while he rides his bike or frame a piece of his artwork to document his new skill. Let your child know you have an interest in his accomplishments.

6 Give your child a hug or a high-five if he does something that makes you proud. Sometimes acknowledgement can come in unspoken form like a smile, a special look, body language or a special gesture you share with each other.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images