The Dangers of Over-praising your Child

It is good for parents to praise their children but it can be unhealthy when parents make it a point of duty to copiously praise every of their children’s effort regardless of how well or good that effort or ability is. Some parents are guilty of over praising their child, even when not needed. This has both short and long term effects on the children. There is no harm in praising your children as often as one can. There are several advantages in doing that which includes:

  1. Boosting self esteem.
  2. Improving character formation.
  3. Encouraging them to do better.
  4. Motivating children to learn.
  5. Stretches persistence and boosts resilience.

However, too much praise on the other hand has negative effects as several research has shown. A lot of new research has shown that too much praise decreases children’s self esteem, motivation, effort, and achievement among others. The following are some of the research findings:

Lowers grades: Research findings by the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology showed that the wrong kind of praise can backfire by causing lower grades.


Reduces children’s effort: The Colombia University and Stanford University research showed it reduces children’s effort because getting praised for so little effort could make them unwilling to go the extra mile. 

Triggers shame and lowers self-worth:  The University of Netherlands says it triggers shame and lowers self-worth. Praising kids-especially those who display lower self-esteem – for their personal qualities such as saying, “You’re such a great person!”… rather than their efforts may make kids feel more ashamed if they fail at a task which in turn reduces their self-esteem..

Excessive or unwarranted praise does not typically boost confidence for children. Children are denied opportunities to learn real knowledge, skills and humility. Children miss out on the power of authentic praise to encourage and inform their efforts. Children can develop an inflated sense of competency and importance regarding their personal contributions. Children are less likely to develop an honest assessment of their own work. 
The demerits of ‘over-praising’ your child could actually do less for your child. Be sure to focus on their effort, not on their personal traits or successes. This would help them develop ideals that are found in well adjusted children. They are:

● A dependable character
Skill competency
● Adequate capacity

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