How should I express praise and care?
Appropriately expressing praise not only helps the patients acquire good habits, but also boosts their confidence and strengthens family relationship. When we intend to praise them, the following techniques can be considered:
1. Closely observe; Provide instant feedback
As we have been living with our family members for long, we may not notice their strengths or room for improvement. When we closely observe, we can realize their strengths, and then we should instantly express our praise.
We need to clearly explain what they have done worth-praising, and why. We should make our compliments concrete.
3. Express feeling
We can express our present feelings.
We can also consider using more precise vocabulary, such as praising their good qualities such as being caring, credible, knowing how to respect others, attentive, responsible, organized, diligent, and persevering, etc. For instance: “It’s such a good self-discipline that you wake up yourself! I’m glad to see you work hard.”
Concisely describing the patients’ condition can be one of the ways to show care. For instance we can simply say something like, “after a day of work, you look a bit tired”. But we need to be careful to strike a balance between expressing care and providing enough space to let patients choose to do or not to do. Otherwise, care can be easily turned into control. For instance, when the weather is cold, we do not need to ask them to wear more clothes for thousand times; instead, we can simply put his coat onto the chair, and provide them space to choose. This can already express our care.
Sometimes, we feel difficult to communicate with the patients, or do not know what to talk with them. When we have no idea what to talk, we can try the following ways:
Describe precisely and concisely
It is not a must to prompt the patients to talk by asking questions. We can describe their condition briefly, such as “you look tired”, to start conservation. If we really hope to start conservation by asking questions, open-ended questions are more appropriate.
Disclose your own thoughts
To start conservation, we can also disclose our thoughts and feelings first. If a common topic can be found (e.g. television series, news, latest information), it is easier to start the conservation than talking about your own matters (e.g. your work).