30 ways to praise your child without saying 'good job'

30 ways to praise your child without saying 'good job'

Here are some more effective alternatives to the usual phrase we use to commend our children for a good deed or a job well done

Gone are the days when it's recommended that you constantly praise your child as a means to build up their self-confidence. As parents, it's easy to resort to pats on the back accompanied by saying "good job".

Though parents and teachers mean well when we say this to our kids it may not be doing the job of fostering their self-esteem.

It doesn't hurt to say "good job" once in a while but parents and teachers can choose to ditch this overused phrase and get a bit more creative.

Encouraging self-esteem can be accomplished by putting emphasis on a child's specific qualities and actions.

This way, you're not only complimenting them, you're teaching them more about themselves and that you truly appreciate and value who they are.

Here are 30 alternatives to saying "Good Job"

1. I know that took a lot of patience.

2. Studying hard really paid off!

3. That truly shows dedication.

4. You are really getting better at (insert mundane activity). Keep going!

5. That took a lot of imagination.

6. You are very brave!

7. You really demonstrated good sportsmanship during the game!

8. Very creative!

9. You are so responsible. And I appreciate that.

10. Can you tell me more about your (insert arts & crafts project)?

11. Thank you!

12. You were very respectful to your elders (insert time of the day).

13. High five!

14. You're managing your time so wisely!

15. That was all you!

16. I notice you've been working so hard on your homework.

17. (Hugs)

18. Can you show me how you made it?

19. Sharing your (food/toy) with (insert name) was very considerate.

20. That was very thoughtful of you!

21. Thank you for being so patient with your brother/sister.

22. You are thinking through your choices well.

23. That showed that you are really strong.

24. I could never do that when I was your age.

25. Your good grades are the result of time and effort.

26. You have set such a good example for your classmates.

27. You are making a lot of progress.

28. You didn't give up, and that's the most important.

29. You finished it (insert activity) really fast!

30. We couldn't have done it without you!

And that makes the 30 creative alternatives when you want to commend your child for a job well done, or spur him/her to further improve on themselves. Why not try any of these phrases the next time you want to show appreciation for their efforts and hard work?

Try this: every time you use one of these phrases, note how your child reacts. Are they receptive and does it look like they're feeling good about themselves? Does one phrase work better than the other?

That said, do not overuse these phrases and mean what you say—children can pick such things up.

Also remember that not everything your child does or makes warrants praise. Just pick instances when something really stands out or helps their good character shine through.

If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below. 

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Written by

Bianchi Mendoza

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