Are we celebrating the good things?

by Linda Michie, Executive Director and Founder at Wishing Well Adoption & Family Services

What I mean is, in our day to day parenting, are we making a big deal out of the really important things we want our children to learn?

What ARE the most important things we want our children to learn? Kindness? Honesty? Generosity? Forgiveness? Responsibility?

Are these the things we make a big deal about praising our children for?

Celebrating the Right Things - parenting Tips from Wishing Well Adoption and Family ServicesSo often I hear parents saying “good job!” if their children eat the amount of food they gave them. Or “way to go!” if children win a game of sports. I even hear parents praising their children for killing all the zombies on their electronic devices or stabbing, shooting or beating their way to the top of the castle stairs.

Less often I hear parents say “Wow, I know it was hard to be honest just then but that was a good thing you did.” or “I saw how kind you were to that little girl and it made me really proud.”

I hear parents praising their children for neutral things sometimes too. One day I heard a mom praise her child for every step he walked up (a whole flight of stairs). I wondered on which step the child stopped listening to the woman and tuned her out so he could get on with the business of getting up the stairs.

If we over-praise our children they WILL tune us out. Our words will be background noise in their lives.

If we under-praise them they won’t know what we value about them.

So are we valuing the right thing? Are we letting our children know what we value?


  1. Sit down some time and make a list of the things that you really want your child to learn from you.
  2. Next to that, list how you are teaching your child those things.
  3. Practice encouraging and reinforcing those things with praise.
  4. Teach your child to honor their own pride in what they’ve learned.
  5. Watch your children glow in their understanding.

Wishing you well with all your parenting!

As always, if you live in Hampton Roads and decide you would like to try having a parenting coach, call (757) 739-2118 to set up an intake appointment.

Linda Michie

Linda Michie

Executive Director and Founder at Wishing Well Adoption & Family Services
Linda Michie holds a Master's degree in Urban Studies, and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Old Dominion University.
Linda has worked in the child welfare field since 1999 and is a Licensed Child Placing Agent.
Wishing Well assists in domestic adoptions in the state of Virginia, and provides parenting coaching, and supervised visitation in Virginia Beach, VA.
Linda Michie

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