Mindful Parenting With Mel

Why You Should High Five Your Kids More Often

By By Mel Peirce- Certified Life and Parenting Coach April 23, 2022

Do you ever give your kids a High Five as a way to celebrate an achievement or encourage them to keep going?  

 The power of high fives has been well documented in a number of studies, and since April 22nd is National High Five Day, I wanted to highlight the power of this great tool you can use with your kids.

In a study titled “High Fives Motivate”, published in Frontiers in Psychology, researchers split school-aged children into three groups, each assigned a number of difficult tasks.  Each group was encouraged in one of three different ways.  One group was praised based on a personal trait — You are a good drawer.  The second group was praised based on effort — You did a good job drawing.  The third group was simply given a high five.  

Giving a child a high five was by far the best motivator, and the students that received the high fives were the most persistent and kept going despite making mistakes.  According to Mel Robbins in The High Five Habit, giving a high five means a shared celebration.  When you give your child a high five, you are not passively praising them for their skills, efforts or grades.  You are celebrating with them and getting them to cheer for themselves.

And when you use the high five as a form of encouragement, you are telling your child I believe in you.  

Children continually face new and unknown experiences throughout their school years, and it is completely normal for them to experience nervousness, fear and doubt with each new experience.  The more we can help our children learn the skills to persist through these emotions and keep going despite mistakes, the more we set them up for success in life.


When you give your child a high five as encouragement, you are conveying your belief in them when they may not have it for themselves yet.  Our children often look to us to figure out how to think and feel, and our belief in them can help them keep going when they experience nervousness, fear, or doubt.  

If you haven’t read The High Five Habit, I highly recommend it.  It covers the science behind the power of the high five, Mel shares her personal experience and success as well as real life results that people are getting from the High 5 Habit.  Remember, our kids learn best from what we model for them.  I invite you to consider the daily High Five Habit of high fiving yourself in a mirror each morning to encourage and cheer for yourself, and teach your kids to do the same.

The high five is just one of the many science backed tools in the Parenting Toolbox inside my Parent From Neutral program.  When you learn to parent from neutral, you learn how to take the heightened emotions out of parenting so you can parent calmly and effectively when you need to most.  You learn communication strategies to help your kids listen better and a process for calmly working through issues and solving problems.  And you learn how to cultivate confidence, resilience and courage in your children to help them thrive.  Registration opens on April 28th and spots are limited.  Get on the waitlist at so you are first in line when doors open.

I will be offering a live virtual workshop on Thursday, April 28th to teach my Parent From Neutral process and how it can help with Parenting Through Anxiety.  I will cover what contributes to anxiety, how it affects your parenting, as well as strategies to parent through it.  If you or your child is struggling with anxiety, I highly recommend planning to join me!  You can sign up here:

I was recently told that Parent From Neutral is what parents didn’t even know that they needed to hear.  If you are struggling to hold it all together as a parent and just hanging on, know that there’s a better way — and I can help you find it.


Link to study: