The Way We Praise Matters, Even For Babies

Back It Up to Birth!

This week has been busy with a presentation about the Operation Ready By 3 (ORB3) Infant-Toddler Curriculum and preparing for meetings next week to talk about it to two more groups, which has prevented me from posting in a couple days.  However, that doesn’t mean I am not as motivated as ever to share information I already have or find on the web regarding the importance of the early years!

From President Obama’s State of the Union address to the above-linked article, the importance of meeting babies’ and toddlers’ needs, in order to catapult them to success in school and life, cannot be denied any longer.  To be sure, we’re hearing more and more that the littlest of them all counts as much as those trying to graduate from high school when it comes to success in school and life.  So, let’s back it all the way up to birth, Baby!

The research that Annie Murphy Paul posted reveals that toddlers, who heard praise at 1, 2 and 3 years of age commending their efforts, were “more likely as older children to prefer challenges than those who heard praise directed at them personally.”  For example, praise such as “Good throw” or “Nice job drawing a circle” was much more helpful in guiding the children at ages 7 and 8 to believe that abilities and behavior could change and develop.  Praise such as the bland phrase “Good job” or “You’re so amazing” (i.e., praise directed at the child personally) resulted in children with decreased motivation and difficulties in handling failure.

Once again, the proof is clearly in the pudding that using the right language with babies and toddlers is key to their future success.

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