Hadiff is now 16months old and he really love to explore things and challenge his capability (as well as my patience). As some mothers are obliged to a very nicely arranged house rules, me on the other side care less for this. This is because I prefer Hadiff to 'play' means putting havoc on his toys and scatter it all over the house. I believe this indicates that learning process is taking place in a young human brain with an expanding/growing information archive.
Apart of letting him messing around with his toys, I found that praising does help him to learn more. Whenever he makes anything that he proud off, he will turn to me and smile and putting that cute begging face asking for praises. Well his wish is always been granted. With "pandainyeeeee" and clapping hands (which most of time he will join me), he will repeat the act again and again.
I do believe that praise can make our kids more motivated, more confident and more inclined to to tackle challenges. Praise can be a powerful form of encouragement. And study has shown that moms who praise their preschoolers for their good manners have kids with better social skills (Garner 2006; Hastings et al 2007).
What’s the right way to praise kids?Good answers come from Jennifer Henderlong Corpus and Mark Lepper, psychologists who have analyzed over 30 years of studies on the effects of praise (Henderlong and Lepper 2002). They determined that praise can be a powerful motivating force if you follow these guidelines:
• Be sincere and specific with your praise - it does not really matter for a very young kids but when your kids are mature enough to understand your motives, it can be very damaging. They may question your sincerity and lead them to think you may not really understand them.
• Praise kids only for traits they have the power to change - avoid praising them because of their ability as they may try to distance themselves from any new challenge. They may think that by doing mistake, it shows lack of intelligence. Praise on things that they can clearly change.
• Use descriptive praise that conveys realistic, attainable standards - Praise that include the details of the achievement is more helpful than just a general praise. However, avoid praise that may sending a superhuman capability like "You are so good, I never see anyone that can do just like that". This praise can put pressure on kids to maintain the high standard or it may send message that your praise is inappropriate.
• Be careful about praising kids for achievements that come easily - This type of praise can send message that you are dumb and not realizing that the task is easy or it can also show that your kids are dumb. This type of praise may not really affect the young kids but when your kids are mature enough to understand you must be more cautious.
• Be careful about praising kids for doing what they already love to do - It is okay to praise our kids on any job well done but be cautious not to override it. If they receive the same praise whenever they do things that they already like, it may actually reduce the motivation to do it again. Kids do expect to get praises but when the praise is unexpected, it remains a powerful form of motivation.
• Encourage kids to focus on mastering skills—not on comparing themselves to others - Praise your kids on the skill they have to complete the task (mastery comparison) instead of on the fact they have finished the task first compare to their friends (social comparison). Kids that been praise on mastery comparison will have enhanced motivation but for kids who receive social comparison may demotivated when they are not able to beat their friend on the second task. Apart from this, kids that have been praise as social comparison may look at the work with lack of motivation. The work only looks interesting if it permits them to look the best or outperform their friends.
Worse is when they fail to be the first person to complete the task, they will feel helpless instead of learning from their mistake.Extracted and summarized from http://www.parentingscience.com/effects-of-praise.html