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5 Ways You Are Praising Your Child Incorrectly And How It Can Backfire

5 Ways You Are Praising Your Child Incorrectly And How It Can Backfire

Praising a child moderately can boost your child’s self-confidence and encourage him to do more. However, praising children a little more than moderately or even too much has the opposite effect. The child becomes less motivated and is not eager to do more because he knows he will be praised for doing little anyway. So, as a parent, you should find the right balance. How can you tell, though, if you are praising your child moderately or not? Here are five ways you may be praising your child incorrectly and why they can backfire.

1. Insincere praise. If a child senses that your praise is insincere – like when you praise him when you do not mean it or only because you want something from him – he begins to doubt and question your motives. This may damage the relationship you have with your child because he may still doubt you even when your praise is sincere.

2. Comparing while praising. Telling a child that he is the best in his class or he is better than his peers is another way to praise a child incorrectly. This means that you are comparing your child to his peers, encouraging unhealthy competition, and instilling fear in him. Your child, in turn, becomes afraid to compete with his peers because he thinks they may outshine him. Rather than focusing on learning, the child will be more focused on maintaining his position as the best.

3. Heaping too much praises. When you begin to heap too much praises on your child, he will not be motivated to do more, especially if it is something he loves doing. The child expects to be praised whether he does little or much, so he does not bother to put in much effort in what he is doing.

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4. Praising the child’s abilities. Research shows that children who are praised for their efforts instead of their abilities areĀ more interested in learning, are more persistent,Ā and perform well in achievement activities. Thus, experts have advised parents to focus on a child’s efforts and say things likeĀ “I can see you’ve been practicing” and “Your hard work has really paid off” rather than praising their abilities thus, “You’re so smart” or “You always get the best grades.”

5.Ā Inflated praise. Giving your child inflated praises will damage his self-esteem in the long run.Ā Eddie Brummelman, a child development researcherĀ at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, defined inflated praise as over-emphasized encouragement, like ā€œYou made an incredibly beautiful drawing,ā€ instead of ā€œYou made a beautiful drawing.” Inflated praise makes your child think that he should be perfect all the time and puts too much pressure on him to live up to the high standards you have set for him.

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