Posted in Our little man, Parenting style

Am I praising little A too much?

Recently I’d been reading articles about giving praises to kids.  Like any other parents we all love to praise our child. It feels good. It makes us feel as though we’re doing something right. Then I asked myself- Am I praising little A too much? The short answer is ‘yes’ and I’m guilty!

Ok I must admit.I always acknowledge his works whether its drawing,simple task,crafts or doing the right thing Im always giving him praise and positive remarks.

Little did I know is that praise can actually be bad for kids.

Below is the article that explain why encouragement, support, and gratitude are far more effective.

Why shouldn’t I praise my kids?

In the past 20-30 years, a growing number of research projects have found that praise can actually be bad for kids.
Here are just a couple of reasons why:
  1. Praise is generally perceived as controlling. When we praise our children, they perceive it as our attempt to manipulate their behaviour – which it very often is. When kids feel controlled, the first thing they’ll often try to do is push against us. Have you ever noticed that if you praise your children for something they’ll stop doing it? This is why.
  2. Research has ABUNDANTLY shown that praising our children can reduce their interest in doing whatever it is we praise them for. Whether it’s cleaning something, eating something, sharing, helping, or otherwise, praising kids makes them stop and think, “Gee, if mum’s making such a big deal about it, maybe I’m not supposed to like doing it.”
  3. Research has also demonstrated, clearly, that praising children reduces the quality of whatever is being praised. Some specific research found that praising children for painting something nice led to less creativity next time they painted. Similarly, other research has found lack of motivation and effort in reading, problem solving, drawing, and helping after praise is offered. It seems that if praise isn’t offered next time a child does that activity, they stop doing it.
  4. Praise, ultimately, is a judgement. It’s an evaluation, and our children don’t like us to be their judges, because just as we can judge something as good (e.g., “Good girl”, “Good job”, “Good work”), we can also be critical.
  5. Perhaps the greatest issue with praise is that it makes a child feel as though we regard her conditionally. That is, she has to keep doing things that we evaluate positively to be considered ‘worthy’ to us, her parents. The idea that she has to earn praise makes it problematic. This is because the very idea of positive reinforcement promotes conditional love. And our children need unconditional love and acceptance from us.
So, what do we do instead?
We clearly need to give our children positive interactions. I’m not at all suggesting that to we should cut out any kindness and positivity. This is not about growling and grilling our kids day in and day out.
In fact, recent research shows that, while praise is not good for our children, they NEED us to be positive all the time! Some researchers suggest that we should have 20 positive interactions, gestures, touches, and words for every one negative! That’s a 20:1 positivity to negativity ratio for a flourishing relationship! If we aren’t going to praise, what can we do?

1. Express gratitude. When you see that your child has done something you value, say ‘thanks’.

Hey thanks for cleaning up your room. I appreciate it.
I’m really grateful you ate all your dinner tonight. It will help you grow even bigger and stronger.
When you share your toys with your friends, it makes me feel grateful… and it makes your friends grateful to.
2. Be supportive.
When our children do something we think is super, describe what you see. Ask them questions about their perception. Describe the effort you see them make.
Wow. When you played that song on the piano, your fingers seemed right, the louds and softs were in the right places. It sounded like you’re really getting it. What did you think?
When your sister shouted at you, I heard you speak softly and kindly back. How do you think that made things better? How did you feel to make that decision? How do you think your sister felt when you were kind to her?
3. Be encouraging. 
Teach your children that effort brings rewards. When children are doing something difficult, rather than praising for it, speak with them about engaging in the process, about doing one bit at a time, and about useful strategies they can employ. Then, at the end of the process, be supportive again by describing the effort you’ve observed them use, and the outcome they’ve achieved.
I know it’s hard.
In our family, we do hard things, and right now you’re doing it too.
How can I help? I’m watching you work at this and can see you making progress.
If you keep it up, I know you’ll be able to do this.
Wow, you worked hard at it. You did it in little bits. Now it’s finished. You did something hard and now it’s done! How does it feel to know you can do it?

Research shows it can reduce people’s motivation, negatively affect their behaviour, and more.It’s often a broad character assessment (you’re a good boy) that is given away easily, can be confusing, and is easily retracted ten seconds later if the child does something we disapprove of. It leads to lower motivation later if it isn’t kept regular, and can lead children to question themselves if they’re not getting it when they expect it.

The alternatives are much more effective in helping children feel encouraged, supported, and appreciated. And they also help children form their own judgements of how they’re actually doing, which is far more powerful than having judgements passed down from us.

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