Why Too Much Praise Is Bad: Turning Our Kids Into Praise Junkies
What Is a Praise Junkie?
The Praise Junkie at School
- Children should get praised for effort and hard work, not outcomes. If a youngster is struggling with a math problem or a writing assignment, it's good to say: "Wow! I know that's hard for you, but you keep plugging along." That's much more powerful than seeing your child's "A" on her report card and remarking, "You're so smart!"
- Children who are praised for physical attractiveness, intelligence, and possessions are less able to deal with challenges later in life. They give up easily. Those praised for effort show more perseverance and this is key to their continued success.
- Children should get praised for trying, especially when they fail. They need to know failure is a big part of life and is inevitable.
- Children should get praised for the process, not the end product. When a child is painting a picture, the adult should comment, "I like how you're experimenting with the greens and blues to create an ocean." This is far more helpful than seeing the finished painting and proclaiming, "Oh, that's so pretty!"