This Five Praises campaign has recently been launched to encourage parents and caregivers to give frequent positive and loving attention to their children, especially to their very young children. It is all too easy to ignore children when they are doing as they are told and playing quietly, giving hard pressed parents a few minutes’ peace, but the research evidence shows clearly that regular appreciation and praise not only fosters feelings of closeness and love in the babies and toddlers, but it encourages them to go on doing whatever it was that won them this attention.
Why was the Five Praises a Day campaign launched?
It was launched because research carried out by Dr. Carole Sutton, of the Unit for Parenting Studies at this University, showed that giving children, especially their very young children, frequent positive and loving attention not only encouraged good behaviour in them, but also seemed to give them a greater sense of security and happiness. This research has now been repeated around the world, and the message is the same.
What can parents hope for if they use Five praises?
Here are some comments volunteered by parents once they began praising and appreciating their toddler:
‘He is more affectionate, loving... People have noticed the difference in him’.
‘He comes and gives me a love. I like that. He never did that before’.
‘... he is more affectionate. He seems to be happier in himself. Other people have commented on how much calmer he is. We were beginning to feel such failures’.
‘She gives me a love – more affectionate. She will sit on my knee with my arms around me. My husband says she seems completely different. She said, “I really want to love you instead of being horrible to you”.
Why five praises, and not two or ten?
We have chosen five to echo the ‘Five fruits and vegetables’ slogan. You might use fewer or more, but the important point is that the children should hear positive messages frequently and over weeks and months, not just for a day or two. That’s why we’ve provided a chart to mark on the back of the card.
Click here to download a sample card
Community Practitioner paper on 5 praises a day