Positive Phrases To Use Besides “Good Job”

June 1, 2016
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Good job! Good job!

All over the park that’s all I hear from parents rather than other positive phrases they could use…

Good job!

For some reason, both my sister’s and my generation use this phrase like hotcakes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that parents want to positively reinforce their children in a way that would make them feel good, but the phrase is empty and used so much that quite frankly, it’s completely lost its power. There are plenty of other positive phrases you can use that will not only make your kids feel good but will also be more specific and helpful. I mean really, all good job means is “you did that well,” but it doesn’t tell a child why he or she did a “great job.” Try these positive phrases to encourage your child and give feedback that really makes an impact.

I Appreciate X

Tell your child how you appreciate how they did something and why! Don’t just say, “I appreciate your drawing” or “I appreciate your math homework.”

Tell your child you appreciate his or her drawing because of the intricacy or details involved. The use of color. Shading.

Tell your child you appreciate how he or she did math homework because he or she made an effort doing something that perhaps is hard for him/her or, mastered a new mathematical skill.

Tell your child exactly why you appreciate his or her efforts using direct feedback.

That Looks Easy

It seems like no matter how easy a task is, a parent is always standing by to say “Nice work” when the reality is that kid could do that task with his or her eyes closed. Instead of using that mindless phrase, try noting how easy a task is for your kid and then say:

  • I see how easy that is for you. Let’s try something harder next time
  • You did that so well that I can tell you need a challenge. Let’s make one!

Ask Questions

Instead of offering up that cliche “good job,” ask your child questions.


  • Why he enjoys what he’s doing
  • If what she did was easy or difficult
  • Which better your child liked the best of an activity or playtime, etc.
  • How your child knew how to solve that problem, read that sentence, or make a good social choice.

Asking how your child drew a conclusion or experienced something helps your child learn to articulate his or her thoughts and think more deeply in general. You can help your kid develop critical thinking skills with your own detailed questions!

One Comment

  1. Emily Wilson

    June 5, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Really? Good job isn’t good enough?

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