This is an important subject, and one that I’m passionate about. Praise doesn’t cost a penny and is very powerful when used effectively.
Unfortunately, kids with ASD have many memories of incompetence and failure, which result from their cognitive processing challenges. It’s not surprising that they avoid uncertainty and cling to control as a means of safety. It’s human nature to protect ourselves.
As parents, our goal should be to reverse this, and help our children recognize their positive attributes, encouraging intrinsic motivation. How do we go about doing this? We must praise in a way that will help meaningful, positive memories to be “encoded” by the brain. You’ll help your child build resilience and be more willing to step outside of his/her comfort zone in the process.
Before I go further, let me say that “Good Job” is NOT effective praise!
It’s critical to praise so your child receives both positive feelings and information that will inform his actions in the future. Here are a few things to think about:
Here are some examples:
“Blake, what a great mark you got on your math test; you worked hard to learn fractions, and you were very persistent with your homework.”
“Jenny, thank you for sharing with your sister. That was a kind thing to do and it made her very happy!”
“Billy, I was so proud of you today. You sang beautifully with your class, and I could see Mrs. Smith was really happy.”
Praising your child effectively gets easier with practice. If you can’t find the right words in the moment, a warm hug and a smile will suffice until you can; it’s worth choosing your words carefully at the start. Your child has many qualities that are waiting to be recognized and celebrated. I can almost promise you that by praising effectively, you’ll see more of it.
Observe your child’s facial expression when you’ve praised effectively, but don’t over-do it or “act.” Praise must be genuine. When you hit the jackpot, savor the moment and celebrate a meaningful experience with your child joyfully. Competence is addictive for everyone!
Can I be of service?
The goal of my coaching is to help ASD Moms live a more empowered life, by improving their physical and emotional wellbeing. I can’t think of a better cause to get behind. Can you? Your family needs you to be the best you can be.
Coaching provides a judgement-free, safe space for you to get your bearings, explore your needs and own your power. Power, you say? Yep! It may be hidden, but it’s there. Let’s find it together. What makes this even better? Coaching takes place by phone! For more information go here: Coaching with Sue