7 Rules To Conisder While Praising

“Words are powerful, more powerful than swords,” my mother read out loud while pointing to a line in a newspaper she was reading. Witnessing how my passion for writing was growing, she encouraged me with her words to let me believe more in the value of what I’m doing. On my way back home I started to think of her words. My mind drifted to my teachers both at school and at college. The words of four of them are still engraved in my mind though I graduated twenty years ago. What was the common thing between them all? It was ‘praise’. They praised me in a way that encouraged me to do my best, to elevate my performance in order to be up to their trust, to stretch my brain muscles and to work harder. I thought of my students; the amazing teenagers I’m lucky to work with, and how little words of praise help them unlock their potentials and unleash their gifts. My thoughts led me to 7 main factors we need to consider while using praise to ensure it truly brings the desired results:

1- Personalise the praise.

Telling all people the same words of praise turn them off instead of motivating them.

2- Praise the action not the person.

Instead of saying “you’re smart” or “you’re responsible” we better say “you handled this problem in a smart way” or “you acted in a responsible way”.

3- Praise at once.

Waiting for a week or two to praise people for their good actions is meaningless. 

4- Be careful while praising in public.

Though praising in public is very rewarding, yet we must make sure not to hurt the feelings of other people who are around and who might be worth of praise as well.

 5- Praise the progress.

Even if it’s a little progress, some people truly struggle to achieve it. Praising the progress while comparing people with themselves – not with others – motivates them to keep progressing. 

6- Be sincere.

Look to the person in the eye. Speak slowly and articulate. Some people rarely hear words of praise so allow them to indulge in those moments of glory.

7- Put it into writing as much as possible.

So often people wish to hear the praise again and again. Writing lines of praise gives people a chance to reread it and to refresh their feelings of happiness.
Struggling with a rebellious child, a stubborn teen, a closed-minded boss or a nervous partner? Try words of praise, they have a magical effect when used appropriately. 


The Little Secret To Nurture Your Relationships

It’s unbelievable how little actions, done with love, affect our relationships. In our super busy lives, many of us find it hard to keep healthy relationships. However, all of us can do very little actions of love that won’t take but few minutes, if not seconds, and won’t cost a fortune.  “In relationships, little things are the big things”, as explained by Stephen R. Cover in his timeless book ‘The 7 habits of highly effective people’.  Applying this lesson myself, I had witnessed its profound impact on my relations. Though it was a bit challenging to identify that ‘little thing’ that would mean a big thing for each person in my close circles, yet it was worth it. A flower, a tap on the shoulder, a symbolic gift, a short ‘I miss you’ message on what’s app are ways to put deposits in people’s accounts and nourish our relations.

We all have twenty-four hours and we are all social creatures who need to receive love and who are capable of expressing love. Few minutes a day or even a week can nurture our relationships and make them boom. Little things are ‘the’ big things.


I have read that..

Fear is an illusion, which is precisely why we say that the word fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. 40% of our worries never materialize, 30% of our worries deal with the past and nothing can be done about them. Another 12% directed toward other people’s business and nothing can be done about them. Another 10% spent on imagined illness, only 8% of worries were found to be justified.


5 Strategies To Turn Your Children Into Social Contributors

Are you a good citizen? Whether you’re living on your country of origin or living abroad, will you be considered a good citizen?Yesterday my son asked me for a private talk. Terminating his IB education and receiving his diploma, he’s considering his options for college studies locally and abroad. While speaking, I was hit by a sentence in his speech: “Dad is okay that I study abroad if I get accepted in a top university. But I am not sure. Do I pick this choice or I study here and continue in the research field aiming to do a remarkable contribution for my country?” 

At the age of eighteen, I wasn’t thinking neither of ‘contribution‘ nor of ‘my country‘. Now, my son at eighteen is having big talks.

His words provoked me to reflect, how did my son developed this sense of contribution and social responsibility? I figured out 5 factors that shaped his thinking in this way:

1- Role modelling.

Though we rarely talk about how we love our country in front of our kids, we act it out by default. As parents, we try to work hard, to contribute, to educate, to inspire others especially that we both work in the field of education.

2- Attitudes and talks.

Though we face daily problems with traffic, with pollution, with undisciplined people..etc We refuse to act like victims. When faced with a problem we change it if we can or we accept it and deal with it if we can’t change it. We don’t poison our children’s brains by complaining from our country. We teach them to be proactive.

3- Storytelling.

Which I consider one of the best strategies to embed values in children. We used to share stories of his grandparent who was an effective contributor. We shared stories of Egyptians who were great honours for their country in different fields.

4- Personal Contribution. 

Though he still receive his allowance, he was taught to share a little amount of it for cancer children on monthly basis. When hearing about severe cases or people in bad need, I ask him to share an amount from his savings. 

5- Educational system.

Be selective and choose while having an end in mind. As an IB student, my son was involved in community and service projects from year 6 till year 12. He went out to the world, investigating community needs and serving the less fortunate. He got exposed to the real world at young age. Moreover, the education preserved his sense of identity. Though it’s an international education, yet the IBO philosophy is clear about promoting open mindedness while preserving one’s identity. 

Are you a plus or a minus for the community you live in? Will you be considered a role model for a good citizen?