Are you a proud Mummy? Do you find it easy to praise your kids?

Recently, I attended a photography exhibition as a very proud Life Coach.  One of my gorgeous and fabulously talented clients successfully passed her course at the London School of Photography.  Underneath her magnificent artwork ( see left) was written:

It’s Showtime! Progression of movement in the same image fascinates me and I wanted to portray this in a light-hearted and fun way, but more than that, these photos also represent a milestone in a personal journey that got me here today. For that I have Lisa to thank, as she was instrumental in helping me embark on that journey, and I’m so pleased that she agreed to be my model in these photos.

My client (we’ll call her Pam for now) began her coaching journey a year ago when she came to me as a dissatisfied and frustrated lady with many talents (jewellery making, professional make-up, sports to name but a few) which she wasn’t using.   It’s not just children I coach but adults too.

Today, those frustrations are most certainly a thing of the past.   Pam has been brave and made some incredible changes to her life.  The recent exhibition marked the end of her course and she is now officially a photographer.  I think you’ll agree this lady has great talent (no I’m not just saying that because she has taken a picture of me…………Photoshop can work miracles you know?!)

I feel immensely proud of her achievement

Pam has worked jolly hard and has been faced with some difficult decisions along the way.  She has let go of the security of her full time job (works part-time to free up a couple of extra days for her to concentrate on her photography) and she has also looked change right in the eye and said ‘I’m coming to get you!’  A lot of people would have been too scared to make the change and stayed where they were because even though it wasn’t where they wanted to be, it was comfortable.

Let’s make a big effort to focus on the good stuff

Pam is very spirited and is one of those really lovely people that you want to be around.  She is full of happiness and good nature.  I tell her that often and not just because I’m her coach.  I think it’s really important to celebrate achievements because we spend so much time focuses on what’s wrong / what’s missing / what could have been / what’s broken blah blah blah.

So when it comes to your kids do you focus on their good stuff?

Loving words and words of praise and encouragement are words that give positive guidance.  They say I care about you and their feed a child’s inner sense of worth and security.  A child does not forget these words.  Children believe deeply what we say and take our words to heart.   Sometimes we can all get caught up in what isn’t quite right or what they aren’t very good at.  ‘Oh yes Sally takes after me and she’s not very good at x, w, z!’   They need a constant reminder of what they are good at and what they can do well.  We are all good at something (my Dad taught me that one!)

Celebrate success – even your own

I haven’t always been this way, but I make more of an effort now a days to tell people how great they are to congratulate them on their successes.  I’m also better at celebrating my own successes.  Are you?  – According to a recent well being survey by the ONS, we are happiest in our teenage years and when we retire but this dips in the middle when anxiety seems to rise.  Celebrating success and acknowledging efforts and achievements lift you and motivate you.

How do you praise your children?

For some people telling them how you feel about them or giving them positive praise is uncomfortable and doesn’t come naturally.    If you don’t praise your child, then they could form a negative belief about their abilities – remember a parent is a child’s mirror of how they behave and look.  A child who doesn’t get positive feedback is like a child looking in a dusty mirror; they know they are there, but it’s not completely clear who they are.  Their reflection is blurry.  A child who gets too much negative feedback is looking in a broken mirror.  They may think they are bad and there is something wrong with them.

Praise openly, don’t over do it & be specific!

If you praise it too much, it won’t have the desired effect.  If it’s not sincere, a child may see it as flattery and maybe even telling fibs.  Being more specific in our words makes it matter more.  So instead of saying ‘Good girl!’ or ‘Good boy!’ you could say ‘I saw how you played so nicely with your brother today and it made me realise that life is so much nicer when we share and are kind.’  A good way to start of praise is to say ‘I was so proud of you when you did x because…….’ and then  explain why.

‘Praise your children openly, reprehend them secretly.   W. Cecil ‘

To finish, I’d like to personally thank Pam for sharing her journey with me.  This is what makes my job an absolute joy.  In fact I think I’ve said it before (but I’ll say it again anyway) this doesn’t feel like a job.  I’m very lucky! 🙂

Image credits © and ©





  1. Lovely blog, Lisa.
    Loads of good points you make. The 2 I endorse the most are specific praise for children, clients, …husbands!
    And that in general people don’t celebrate their achievements enough.
    Great analogy about the mirror.
    And fabulous photo, you must be very proud!

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