Setting Limits and Boundaries

It’s About Teaching, Not Punishing “Call them rules or call them limits, good ones, I believe, have this in common: they serve reasonable purposes; they are practical and within a child’s capability; they are consistent; and they are an expression of loving concern.” – FRED ROGERS (MR. ROGERS)

Resources for Further Reading

Gunderson, E. A., Gripshover, S. J., Romero, C., Dweck, C. S., Goldin-Meadow, S., & Levine, S. C. (2013). Parent praiseto 1- to 3-year-olds predicts children’s motivational frameworks 5 years later. Child development, 84, 1526-1541. Levine, M. (2006). The price of privilege: How parental pressure and material advantage are creating a generation of disconnected and […]

Give Empowering Encouragement

• Three-year-old Amy just started swim lessons. While other children leap into the water, she has been cautious, often remaining on the pool steps, and is just starting to kick and move in the water. On the way home, her parent acknowledges Amy’s effort by saying, “You are trying so hard to get comfortable in […]

Key Research Findings to Keep in Mind

When your child is praised for her efforts, she will keep trying new things and working hard to achieve her goals. • Praise your child in a realistic and loving manner. • Praise is most effective when it is very specific and focused on effort, perseverance, and practice. • Focusing on effort and improvement allows […]

Does Praise Build Self-Esteem?

Of course, you want your child to feel good and succeed. However, you may not realize that over-praising can undermine the power of praise and strip it of its meaning. It can also turn your child into a “praise junkie,” relying on you or others for approval. Too much praise may even lead her to […]

How to Make Praise More Effective

As in almost every facet of parenting, there is considerable debate over how and when you should praise your child. An increasing body of research is showing that praise is most effective when it is: • specific. • authentic. • directed at something your child can control, like her effort and improvement. Praise is less […]

Praise Authentically

How to Give Empowering Encouragement “A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.” – WILLIAM SAROYAN

Resources for Further Reading

Eisenberg, N. (2000). Empathy and sympathy. In M. Lewis & J. M. Haviland-Jones (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (2nd ed.) (pp. 677-691). New York, NY: Guilford Press. Goleman, D. (2006). Social intelligence: The new science of human relationships. New York, NY: Bantam Dell. Hoffman, M. L. (2001). Empathy and moral development: Implications for caring and justice. […]

Example of Modeling Empathy

Jake, a two-year-old in daycare, says, “No one play with me!” Jake’s mother becomes anxious because she was a lonely child. She feels guilty about working, but finally decides to talk to Jake’s caregiver and spend some time watching Jake in his daycare setting. In a soft, caring voice, Jake’s mother discusses Jake’s feelings with […]

How to Foster Empathy: Step In, Step Out

• Step In: Put yourself in your child’s shoes by carefully listening to your child’s needs and feelings. Ask your child empathetic questions about her experience. Understand your child’s experience from her perspective. • Balance: Recognize the feelings that your child is experiencing and what those feelings evoke within you. Too much empathy or sharing […]