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3 Steps to Effectively Praise and Build Your Child’s Confidence (Pattern Nr. 13)

Uncover pattern Nr. 13: Giving compliments made easy with this 3-Step Formula to boost your child's confidence and motivation…simple and effective!

The Problem

Finding effective praise methods that go beyond generic compliments.

"How do I give a compliment?" "What are effective ways to praise my homeschooler?" "Why does my child not respond to my praise?" "Why does my child lack confidence in their work?" "How to motivate my child during homeschooling?"

We all want to raise confident, motivated, and self-assured children, especially in a homeschooling environment where we have more control over their learning experience. However, fostering this confidence isn’t always straightforward. Many parents struggle to find the right balance in encouraging and praising their children effectively. Simple praise often falls flat, and our children may not feel truly appreciated or understood.

This can lead to a lack of motivation and self-esteem issues. At the core, our need to feel valued and noticed is crucial for personal growth and development. By mastering the art of giving advanced compliments, we can nurture our children's confidence and foster a more positive learning environment. Here’s how you can implement a three-step technique to give more meaningful compliments that will empower your homeschooler and promote a love for learning.

A Basic Plan

Use the advanced technique for giving compliments:

1. State the compliment

Tell them something you sincerely like about them. Be specific.

2. Justify the compliment

I say that because…” and provide a reason.

3. Immediately ask a question

Why did you choose to do it this way?” Asking a sincere question makes your compliment more real, it shows you really care and you get to learn something.


Imagine your child has just finished drawing a cover for a book based on their observations. You say, "I love the bright colors you used in your drawing. I say that because the colors make the cover look very lively and exciting, just like the story inside might be. How did you decide which colors to use?"

This approach not only compliments their attention to detail and effort but also encourages them to reflect on their work and feel proud of their accomplishments.

  • Art Project

  1. State the Compliment: "I really love the colors you chose for your painting."

  2. Justify the Compliment: "I say that because they create a really vibrant and cheerful mood."

  3. Ask a Question: "Why did you decide to use those particular colors?"

  • Writing Assignment

  1. State the Compliment: "Your story was so captivating and detailed."

  2. Justify the Compliment: "I say that because I felt like I was right there with the characters."

  3. Ask a Question: "How did you come up with the idea for the plot?"

  • Science Experiment

  1. State the Compliment: "You did an excellent job setting up the experiment."

  2. Justify the Compliment: "I say that because everything was so organized and well-prepared."

  3. Immediately Ask a Question: "What inspired you to choose this experiment?"

  • Reading Aloud

  1. State the Compliment: "You read that passage with great expression."

  2. Justify the Compliment: "I say that because it really brought the story to life."

  3. Immediately Ask a Question: "How do you decide which parts to emphasize?"

  • Group Activity

  1. State the Compliment: "You worked really well with your group."

  2. Justify the Compliment: "I say that because you listened to everyone's ideas and helped make decisions."

  3. Immediately Ask a Question: "What was your favorite part of working together?"

  • Sport

  1. State the Compliment: "You showed great sportsmanship during the game."

  2. Justify the Compliment: "I say that because you encouraged your teammates and played fairly."

  3. Immediately Ask a Question: "How do you stay so positive and motivated?"

Discover the patterns necessary to make your homeschool extraordinary. We all want to improve, but most of us don't have a clue where, or when, to begin. The Story Weavers Solutions books contain concrete prompts to keep breaking through old habits and creating the homeschool lifestyle you desire.

One place you can find this specific prompt is in Solutionsbook 1, Level 4. Best of all, you don't have to think about it. Learn, grow, expand and improve while learning alongside your child. Take control of your homeschool as you destroy your negative thoughts (yeah those doubts) and turn them into powerful patterns that will make the difference in your homeschool learning.

Don't allow your homeschool to be anything less than extraordinary. Say yes to your risk-free opportunity and begin your journey today!

Science & Why

Make it a goal to stay attentive, and notice behavior you would really like to see more of. But how you praise is important for it to be effective and not be taken as a flattery, or looked upon with disbelief. The advanced technique of giving compliments—stating the compliment, justifying it, and asking a follow-up question—originates from principles used in the sales world, validated by major entrepreneurs and parenting experts. Research by Dr. Carol Dweck (2006) on the growth mindset underscores the importance of specific and effort-focused praise, showing that it significantly boosts resilience and motivation in children. Additionally, a study by Dr. John Gottman (1997), renowned for his work on relationships, found that specific, justified praise strengthens emotional bonds and fosters a positive environment. Historical figures like Abraham Lincoln used similar techniques in his speeches to uplift and motivate, often providing specific reasons for his praise to reinforce the intended message. Even in popular culture, movies like "The Pursuit of Happyness" illustrate how specific and meaningful compliments can inspire and drive individuals to achieve their goals. This method isn't just fluff; it's backed by science and proven effective across various fields, from sales to parenting.

The Story Weavers was built to change the landscape of education

for families across the globe. Learning has fundamentally shifted with rise of

digital courseware and AI, but education, at its heart, has failed to keep

pace. Our children deserve better. Better instructional techniques, better

content, better quality of life. Click Here to download a Sample

Critical Questions

These are questions we received from social media, email, and our chat function. If you have a question about this post, send it to us—we'll add it to the list to help all of us. (If you don't see all the answers yet.. come back...we are on it)

Q: "Aren't there other ways to give compliments?"

A: Of course, there are many patterns around giving compliments, such as being specific, focusing on effort, or encouraging self-reflection,..... and and and... . Carol Dweck's research on the growth mindset highlights the importance of specific and effort-focused praise, which has been shown to boost resilience and motivation in children. We'll write future blog posts to explore these patterns in more detail—let us know which topics interest you the most!

Q: "How can I be sure this technique will work for my child's unique personality?" A: Every child is unique, and the effectiveness of any technique can vary. The key is to practice, optimize, and adjust based on your observations and your child’s responses. Renowned psychologist Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences suggests tailoring educational approaches to fit individual learning styles, reinforcing that personalization is essential. YOU CAN DO IT! Just optimize away.

Q: "Can I praise too much or too little?" A: Striking the right balance is crucial. Dr. John Gottman's research on the 5:1 ratio—five positive interactions for every negative one—demonstrates that maintaining this balance fosters a positive environment and healthy relationships. Blog coming soon with more details on this approach.

Q: "What if I don't have time to give such detailed compliments regularly?" A: While detailed compliments are beneficial, even brief, specific praise can be effective. A study by Dr. Robert Emmons on gratitude found that consistent, small acknowledgments can significantly impact well-being and motivation, suggesting that even small, meaningful compliments can go a long way.

Q: "How do I balance giving compliments with providing constructive criticism?" A: Balancing praise with constructive criticism is key to effective feedback. The "sandwich method," endorsed by management expert Ken Blanchard, involves starting with a positive comment, followed by constructive feedback, and ending with another positive comment. This approach ensures that criticism is framed positively and constructively.

Q: "Is this technique suitable for all learning subjects, or just certain areas?" A: This technique is versatile and can be applied across all learning subjects. Dr. Benjamin Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives emphasizes the importance of positive reinforcement in fostering critical thinking and learning across various disciplines, from math to language arts.

Q: "Will this method help improve my child’s academic performance as well as their social-emotional skills?"

A: Yes, this method can enhance both academic performance and social-emotional skills. Research by Dr. Angela Duckworth on grit and perseverance shows that students who receive specific and meaningful praise develop better academic skills and emotional resilience, leading to overall success in their studies and personal growth. Building an extraordinary homeschool takes work, but it’s well worth the effort. Get prompted automatically to use different patterns necessary to build a life-long love of learning with The Story Weavers curriculum, your resource for creating the homeschool of your dreams.



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