Positive correction is a way of correcting a child while still boosting their confidence and keeping them motivated to keep trying. No one likes to make mistakes or be wrong. If a child feels like they are always wrong, they will want to stop trying. This can be the case for schoolwork, sports, or even chores at home.

An effective form of positive correction is Praise-Challenge-Praise. In this model, your first task is to find and point out something positive and correct your child did, before making the correction or “challenge”. This prevents the first thing a child hearing after trying something from being negative. If they hear something positive first, they will keep listening and be more willing to accept the correction you need to make.

The second step is to make the correction, in a challenge format. Using a challenge format means instead of pointing out something they need to change you point out a way you know they can improve. After the correction is made, praise them for accepting the challenge. It might look something like this: “You did a great job letting mom work from home undistracted this morning! I’m going to need you to clean up the mess you made while I was working and put all the toys away. Way to go! You let me work and picked up after yourself! You rock!” This will do wonders for their confidence and making them want to help and pick up after themselves as opposed to, “All I wanted was to work from home without and disruptions, and I finish work to find this mess! You were supposed to play without making a mess! Pick it up!”

Praise-Challenge-Praise not only helps the child by improving their confidence and motivation, but also helps the parents by using a positive frame and avoiding fighting and yelling.