Praise versus Encouragement:
Use encouragement versus praise. Say, “You must be so pleased with yourself,” instead of, “I’m so proud of you,” or say, “Wow, you put your shirt on all by yourself!” instead of, “You’re such a good girl for putting your shirt on.”
Good-by Good Girl
Try not to use the phrase, “Good girl,” or “Good boy.” The fact that your child is a “good” person should never be in question, and when you tell them they are a “good girl,” it implies that they wouldn’t be good if they hadn’t behaved a certain way, or performed a certain task. Instead, just use words to describe the action, “You tied up your shoes all by yourself.” ”Good girl” also implies judgement and nobody likes to feel as though they’re being judged.
(Read Alfie Kohn’s work about conditional versus unconditional love, if you’re interested in reading more on this topic.)