The Power of Praise: 10 ways to build a positive mindset in our children.

“Oh well done Beth! You’ve  worked so hard on your maths!”
Rather than Product.
”Oh Ben, you are such a clever boy for getting all your maths right.”

Just as we shouldn’t praise children for being beautiful, we shouldn’t praise children for being clever. Just maybe in this imaginary example, Ben would have got all these sums right because they were easy for him yet Beth, who didn’t get all her maths right, worked twice as hard at this tricky skill. Look at the words used ….Ben was praised for being clever yet Beth was praised for her efforts.
By praising effort, we are enabling children to separate their attributes from how hard they work. In this way, we develop a positive mindset in our children which is so important for later life. Being clever or beautiful is lovely but it is not going to help them achieve in life as they will always meet someone more beautiful or cleverer than they are! Comparing ourselves to others will just lead to unhappiness; being our best self will improve our daily lives. Children can become anxious if they or we, are always comparing them to others.

Here are 10 ways to develop a positive mindset in our children:

1. Emotions are not bad. All emotions are normal and being sad/angry/frustrated are part of daily life. We can’t always be happy. Talking with children about our differing emotions will help them see that experiencing different emotions is normal. It’s what we do with our emotions that counts.
2.  Teach resilience. Being able to bounce back from a negative experience is key. Rather than dwelling on the negative emotion or situation, move forward. Some children are better at this than others!
3. Be kind and help others. Showing children how to be kind is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our children. By being kind to our children, they will experience kindness and be able to pass this on.
4. Savour the amazing moments and relive them. Encourage children to identify an amazing moment will help them know what this feels like so they know this feeling in the future. I don’t mean to encourage boasting but for children to feel proud of something is important for self-esteem.

Child laughing
Laugh and have fun with your children.

5.  Share the positive moments with hugs, laughter and fun. Enjoy these amazing moments together. Find the lovely together.
6. Give them positive affirmations. Tell them they can do this! Teach them to say this mantra to themselves. “I can run this race/pass this test/speak in front of the class”. It’s amazing how positive this can be with children!
7. The world is a wonderous place; take care of it. Instead of instilling fear about the world in our children, tell them what a wonderous place it is! After all, most of it is….
8. Try new things because being open to new things can be amazing. If you don’t try new things how will you know if you like them? Some children are so shy, they don’t want to try anything new. My daughter could be like this so I know how hard it can be. Go with them to new classes or try something together.
9. Have small attainable goals. Life is all about taking small steps towards where you want to be. This is what I tell my teens as they approach their exams. If you want to pass this exam, start here and work towards it. What’s the worst that can happen? You fail your exam? Ok. But you tried your best and that’s ok. If you don’t start now, you’ll never know! You may just pass….
10. Life is a journey. Enjoy every part of it. Teach children that the now is just as important as the next day. Striving for things is important but enjoying the path along the way is called living.

The Power of Praise: 10 ways to build a positive mindset in our children. Oldhouseintheshires. #parenting

My Random Musings
Mum Muddling Through


Mission Mindfulness
Burnished Chaos


  • Am not a qualified teacher as you are, am just a mom, but have started writing on this topic as this is what I observe very closely. Its all so very true that u have written. My posts on resilience, confidence , self belief, etc. in kids try and elaborate what you have condensed so very well! And yes , I love your flowers!!

    • Thank you. I will pop over to your site to take a look. X

  • Such helpful tips, I’m going to be mindful of the emotions one as it can be easy to discourage ‘negative’ emotions but you’re right in encouraging positive ways to deal with them instead of just trying to shut them down. Thank you! #coolmumclub

  • Some great tips here. My son is only 2 so some of these are for the future, but I definitely need more of #5 and try and embrace the positive moments where we can #coolmumclub

  • I can really visualise using these tips with my girls as they grow up – thank you. Such lovely advice.
    Thanks for sharing with #coolmumclub

  • thanks for sharing this post. I am really into the concept of positive mindsets and not accidentally creating limiting beliefs for our children. There are some great ideas in this. #coolmumclub

  • This topic really interests me. Fab post. I try to use positive language as much as possible and praise the effort made rather than the actual achievements X

    • I’m glad you liked the post. Thanks for commenting.

  • Love this post. As a teacher I have been encouraging my pupils all year to have a positive mindset. I think teaching resilience is so important! #thesatsesh

  • It can be hard at times as my children always compare what I say and do with their siblings to what I say and do with them. I dislike comparison as everyone is so unique and that is what makes them so wonderful. I agree praising children for empty things really

    • Good comment. Yes, kids are clever and will try anything to make us feel bad sometimes!

  • What a great post, it’s so important to build children’s self esteem and resilience x #BloggerClunUk

  • Such sensible and valuable advice Sophie. I think 7 is really pertinent for us (in fact I’m going to get hubby to read this post) as living in London we can be a bit heavy with the ‘be careful…’ etc advice. 8 is something we try to do with our eldest as his shyness will stop him going to fun clubs etc. So pleased that yesterday he tried climbing for the first time with his Daddy and loved it! #thesatsesh xx

    • Yes, my daughter was so shy she found new things a challenge (even though she was desperate to try them!). She did grow out if this as a teenager but she is still a cautious soul. Living in London I expect you need to be pretty careful! I just sometimes we forget to tell our children that the world is wonderous too. I know I’m guilty of this sometimes!

  • I love the idea of praising effort rather than product. My parents always said that it didn’t matter what grades we got in school as long as we worked hard, and it stuck with me. #familyfunlinky

  • love this. Making our children feel good about themselves is so important, but equally important is making sure that we are stressing the right things, effort , compassion , ect. #familyfun

  • Great post and great advice. I need to remember to praise the effort more as lately I have been a bit too harsh on their schoolwork and reading this has shown me how wrong I have been all along. Just needed a reminder. Thanks and have a good day.

  • I absolutely love this. This is exactly the thing it try to do with my children. I do believe I fall short sometimes but I think it’s so spot on. Praise is so key as is positivity and self belief. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

    • Thank you so much for this lovely comment!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.