...inspire their best! e-news#34: The Art of Encouragement!

“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.”

ENCOURAGEMENT: inspire, courage, cheer on, give confidence, support, foster, stimulate, gladden

PRAISE: admire, applaud, glorify, congratulate

I am often asked in our B.E.S.T. Behaviour workshops what the difference between praise and encouragement is and how to use it effectively.

There is growing research about the merits of using encouragement versus praise in shaping behaviour in the classroom, at home and in the workplace. Focusing on “efforts” versus “successes”, helps to influence the outcomes that ultimately result in success. More importantly, encouragement helps to shape and teach positive skills that last a life time.

Let’s Compare:

“What a wonderful painting!”
“Wow! you spent a lot of time on that painting. You used so many colours and filled in lots of areas on the paper.”


“You did a great job!”
“Thanks for putting the cars in the car bin; that was really helpful. Now, we will know where they are for the next time.”


“You are such a nice boy.”
“You were so thoughtful giving your chair to your friend. It made him feel special.”

Like any skill, using the strategy of encouragement to help shape positive behaviour takes time and lots of practice.

What will you do today that will matter tomorrow? Ralph Marston

Encouragement Boosters:

  • Practice being more specific in your feedback
  • Encourage the efforts, not the results
  • Catch them doing it almost right
  • Shape the situation for success

“The freedom to make mistakes provides the best environment for creativity.”

At Childlife, our passion is to understand children’s behaviour and development more fully so we can help them learn the necessary skills to be successful in life.

We offer customized, professional on-sight workshops and strategy sessions for staff/parents. and we’ll send you our latest training and services flyers.

B.E.S.T. Behaviour workshops include:

  • Essentials for B.E.S.T. Behaviour
  • Beyond Behaviour Management: How to Teach vs Manage Behaviour
  • He’s Pushing My Buttons: How to Manage the Intensity!
  • Back to Calm: Teaching Self Regulation Skills to Children
  • Healthy Pathways to Optimum Child Development
  • You Make the Difference: Encourage, Motivate, & Inspire!
  • Resilency: The New Self Esteem
  • And more!

“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind.” — Henry James

Enjoy Your Life with Kids!