Ready to Turn Off Your Praise Auto-Pilot?

Posted on Sep 7, 2015 | 2 comments

Friends of Kids' Co-op sponsorships

As you may or may not know, Kids’ Co-op is a non-profit organization. We strive to keep tuition at a reasonable rate each year for our families. Tuition only covers teacher salaries and some daily operating expenses and that is if all classes are at capacity. In order to provide the school with educational materials, supplies, equipment, and other daily operating expenses, the funds must come from other sources. When all classes are full, we have a deficit of approximately $50,000 each year. Fundraising dollars pay for everything from classroom supplies to major building expenses and improvements.

Sponsorships play an integral part in running and funding our school.

At the beginning of the school year we like to offer local businesses and individuals an opportunity to partner with us as a Friends of Kids’ Co-Op Sponsor. It’s a way for businesses and individuals to make a substantial contribution to help offset the operating expenses of our school with a $500+ donation. For their generosity, sponsors will receive numerous incentives designed to give them maximum visibility throughout the school year. The deadline for one visibility piece, a logo on this year’s t-shirt, is Friday, September 11th.

It’s crunch time! Become a Friend of Kids’ Co-Op Sponsor this week!

While we always accept new Friends throughout the year, we would love for them all to be on our shirts this year and hope to have a nice group secured by this Friday! If you or a business owner you know would like to be a sponsor, please download our Sponsorship letter and form HERE and contact fundraising chair Trisha Christmas (contact information is in the letter).

Would you like some Kids’ Co-Op swag? Contact Trisha to order this year’s t-shirt!

In the spirit of fundraising, please share this post with friends and family so that we can get our message out to the world by emailing or texting them a link to this post or sharing on your favorite social media platform. Every little bit helps our school to provide an enriching and creative learning environment for our children and future students. You can use PayPal to send us a donation with your credit card. It’s fast, free, and secure! Just click the DONATE button below. You will be given the option to donate using a PayPal account or without an account, using your credit card. If you are donating on behalf of a student, please put their name in the “Note” area.




Do You Need to Turn Off Your Praise Auto-Pilot?

With business handled, we would like to offer something we feel very strongly about to help shift parents out of praise “auto-pilot” with their children. This piece is so important to us that we include it in our handbook each year. We use these techniques in our classrooms so parents can see it modeled for them which can help to create the shift at home. Pausing before making any complimentary statement to your child is a practice in awareness that is crucial to making  the shift in your interactions.


What would you say if your child proudly showed you this picture?

Positive Parenting: Encouragement versus Praise is an article from that we feel is a wonderful starting point in understanding the difference and what it means for our children in the long run. Here is an excerpt from the article:

Further, according to Carol Dweck, Ph.D., a professor at Columbia University, children who come to rely on praise take fewer risks, because they are unwilling to lose their praise-worthy status. When children seek praise (consciously or unconsciously) they tend to avoid anything they won’t get ‘right’: which is unfortunate because mistakes, trial and error, and risktaking are critical elements of any learning process. This matters whether you’re parenting a toddler or teen. The impact of praise on a child starts early. In fact, in a study facilitated by Dr. Dweck children as young as fourteen months had begun developing opinions about themselves and their abilities based on the praise their parents gave them. As children age, if they only define themselves by good grades, winning, or anytime they receive praise, they’ll feel less competent or worthy when these things are absent (i.e. the real world).


Sure – encouragement may not roll off the tongue as easily, but it is worth the effort. Here are a few additional benefits to encouraging children rather than praising them.



  • Recognizes and fosters continual growth and effort.
  • Does not cause children to compare their achievements, or compete about who is smarter, prettier, faster, etc.
  • Fosters independence – children gain a sense that their own abilities can get them what they need and want.
  • Emphasizes effort, progress, and improvement rather than just results.
  • Recognizes contribution rather than completion or quality over quantity.
  • Promotes perseverance rather than giving up if a child doesn’t initially achieve the success he expected.
  • Allows children to learn about, rather than measure, themselves.
  • Prepares children for real-world challenges where they will be expected to do much more than show up to earn recognition.
  • Doesn’t build false self-esteem (i.e. “I am so smart. I can do anything”) but instead builds determination and confidence (i.e. “I have the ability to do many things if I work hard”).
  • Does not do for children what they can do for themselves.

We love the table in this article of the side-by-side comparison of Generic praise and Encouragement. Please read the rest at the link below, print it and post in every room in your home as a reminder of what to say! We like to recommend that simply describing what you see and being excited about it and sincere can be impactful and may be all your child is looking for from you. There are also links to more on this topic at the end of the article. See more here.


She wants to show you her new dress. What do you say?!

What challenges do you face when it comes to this subject? How has this approach worked for you? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below and please share this with someone who would appreciate reading about this topic.

  • c + m

    I love that this topic has come up. From early on, my husband and I realized how important it was to be more specific in our praise. Such as, “Wow, you ran so fast in soccer today. I’ve never seen you run so fast!”
    It’s something we’ve made such a point in doing for our kids that my daughter is also more specific when she praises her friends. So instead of telling a friend that her dress is pretty, she’ll say, “I like the sparkles on your dress!”
    This has also helped us a lot in conversing with our kids. Praise can easily start some very in-depth conversations. My son’s speech is delayed, so talking through a piece of his own artwork is always a great exercise. And with my daughter, it has made her that much more of a social butterfly. She’s not shy to approach people and ask them details about a toy they have or a cool t-shirt they’re wearing.

  • Kids’ Cooperative

    What great examples, thank you for sharing!