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Praising Pro Tips

Hello my friends! First off- I'm sorry it's been so long since I've posted. March and April were a complete whirlwind here at PCIT, Inc.


Now that I'm back at it- let's talk about praises. You saw that coming a mile away. It's one of my favorite topics to talk about. Labeled praises are a hallmark of PCIT, they are easy to use everyday, and the benefits are endless.


What is a praise? A praise is a positive evaluative word or phrase that describes a child, or a child's behaviors, activities or products (PCIT Protocol). For example "good." A child is coloring and a parent says "good job." That's an unlabeled praise. Labeled praises are specific which intend to help reinforce a specific behavior to see improvement. A child is coloring and a parent says "Good job coloring" or "Good coloring." That's a labeled praise. There's a positive word= (good) + a behavior (coloring).


Pro Tip #1: We use labeled praises to reinforce a specific behavior. The more you praise a behavior, the more likely you will see that behavior again. For example if your child is screaming inside the house... every time you hear your child using an inside voice- praise it! "Thanks for using your indoor voice!" You'll probably see an increase in using inside voices.


That's actually our Praise of the Week. Every Sunday we post a Praise of the Week to use- be sure to follow our social media pages to see all the good stuff.

So my first Pro Tip was to use Labeled Praises to change behaviors. Pro Tip #2 is to use two-word labeled praises. These are even easier to use throughout the day and still count as a labeled praise. Need some help? Here's a few below:

I challenge you to write down 2-3 behaviors you want to change in your child, your spouse, your colleagues (haha) and then come up with two-word labeled praises. "Awesome helping" could be used every time you see someone helping. "Good manners" is one you will definitely hear at the dinner table at my house. "Good focusing" might be one I use on myself (or my boss) when crossing of tasks on the to-do list.


Which two-word labeled praises will you use this week? I'd love to hear in the comments below.


As always, I hope you have a positive and productive week full of praises and fun!

-Katie Smith, LCSW, Certified PCIT Global Trainer, Pro Praiser

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