Rephrase Your Praise
Instead of saying: "You were a good boy."
Say: "You shared nicely with your friend."
Instead of saying: "You cleaned up your toys."
Say: "I noticed that you put away your blocks without being asked."
Instead of saying: "I love your handwriting!"
Say: "It must feel good to be able to write your thank-you notes so neatly."
Instead of saying: "I'm proud of you."
Say: "You must feel proud of yourself."
Copyright © 2007. Reprinted with permission from the August 2007 issue of Parents magazine.