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VIDEO: How to Praise Your Child

The newest course from Prager University.

Jared Sichel


August 26, 2013 - 10:27 am

When you were a child, what actions or accomplishments merited the most praise from your parents, teachers, and other adults? Good grades? Athletic victories? Good behavior? Say the question aloud to yourself. Now, between grades, sports, and behavior, which is the most important? The answer, behavior, should be obvious. In this five-minute course, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin explains how the world can instantly be made a better place: parents, teachers, and adults should reserve praising their children for when they act ethically. Yes, we all value good grades and athletic victories–but if a better world is your main concern, the best vehicle to that is ethical behavior.

Jared Sichel is the VP of Communications for Prager University and a journalist. He has written dozens of news stories, investigative reports, and feature pieces for the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, the PA Independent, and Raised in North Potomac, MD, a sleepy suburb 30 minutes outside Washington D.C., Jared attended Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, and received in 2012 a masters degree in accounting and a bachelors degree in finance. In 2011, he interned for Dennis Prager's radio show in Glendale, CA, an experience that told him that media and journalism were a better fit than accounting. He lives in Los Angeles, CA with his baseball glove, football, fountain pens, and most importantly, cigars. If you say anything bad about the New York Yankees, New York Giants, Downton Abbey, or The Americans (both the FX show and the people), Jared will write mean things about you. Follow him on Twitter @TheSichel.

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I spent about three years working with children of all ages who had learning disabilities. One of the most powerful tools in the arsenal was praise. Even when they didn't do quite what you wanted, you always tried to find something about it they did right.

Sometimes, it's very hard, but I try to keep that rule in mind with my son now. You get more mileage out of the sweet than you do the bitter. He loves hearing "Good job!" way more than he does "No!"
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