Tag Archives: Praise

Constructive vs. Empty Praise

“Good job, Son!” … Sounds good, right?

Communicating with my two boys has been a hard lesson for me to learn. Thankfully, I have been put in situations where I have been taught to communicate in a way which will promote a desired end state.

What does all of that mean?

I learned that what I was giving my boys is known as Empty Praise. Essentially, the simple “good job” is not actually reinforcing the act that achieved the results. Often times, the pat on the back, or the “good job”, are used as a quick way to acknowledge our kids, and go on with our busy day.

This is not doing anything for your kids!

Bottom line, telling your kids “good job” often times just isn’t enough.

Ideally, what you want to do is praise the act or process that achieved the results. Sure, starting with “good job” is appropriate to acknowledge the accomplishment, but what follows is most important. Let us use the example of my son scoring 100% on a spelling test.

An example of Empty Praise would be: Continue reading