Wallet sized ‘Ways to Praise’ cards.
Give these out to every teacher in your child’s school, every parent at your church, and anyone you meet who would like to become more supportive, effective and generous with their praise.
Studies have shown that non-specific praise, like “great job” or “you’re wonderful” is not very effective and can actually backfire. What helps instead is to offer specific, virtues-oriented praise that is both appropriate and accurate. This helps children identify their strengths and encourages them to build on them.
Unfortunately, the language of virtues does not come naturally to most of us. That is where this portable card can help. It offers four simple encouraging phrases and a list of 52 virtues that you can combine into a specific compliment on the spur of the moment. For example “I appreciate your…” (generosity, curiosity, humor, honesty, etc.) With practice, praising with virtues will become second-nature, and your kids will thrive in the areas that really matter to you.
The virtues are organized in the six broad categories that happiness researchers have found to be essential for personal development: Compassion, Wisdom, Spirituality, Justice, Self-Discipline & Courage.