Praise is Pressure
August 3, 2010 · Posted in Communication, K-5 Kids, Parenting, Preschoolers, Pressure on Children · Permalink

Low_Pressure_Capsule_GaugeHow could praising your child be anything but good for them? Here’s how. It turns out that praising a child’s intelligence or performance too much backfires in several different ways. With too much performance focused praise – kids will start to shy away from doing things that they are not naturally good at. They begin to see their worth in terms of stellar accomplishment and fear the loss of approval if they perform in a mediocre or poor manner.

The other is that they start to relate accomplishments to their intrinsic abilities and not effort. In a sense, the idea that effort has to be made is seen as negative or unnecessary. In many developmental studies, children whose effort is praised over ability actually do better on tasks.

Of course all praise isn’t bad. Sincere, specific, praise like “You can climb like a fast monkey on those bars!” or “Your paper is so well-written, awesome job!” does make children feel seen, appreciated and loved. Just don’t overdo it!

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