I read a tweet this morning and can't recall who posted it, but it was something about the most important thing you can say to a child is that you are proud of them. Yes, I do believe in giving positive feedback, especially since some kids hear far too many negative comments in the course of a day.
On the other hand, I believe that it's critical that kids actually believe in themselves and take pride in their own growth. I want them to be able to stop in their tracks and bask in the afterglow of conquering a difficult challenge.
Maybe instead of saying, "I'm so proud of you," we can ask, "How do you feel after working so hard?" "Do you realize what a big accomplishment this is?"
When students come to me, glowing with pride, ready to share a story of success, I ask them to stop for a moment and savor the feeling. I watch, as they stand a bit taller and smile so grandly. I listen intently to their story and then as they answer my question: How do you feel right now? I try to anchor them in that proud moment so that they can remember it when the going gets tough.
My goal in all of this is to reinforce a growth mindset. If you haven't read Carol Dweck's work, I highly recommend it.
I want kids to know that the hard work and the satisfaction that comes with it is what matters.
And yes, I am proud of them,
I'd love to hear what you think!