Four common mistakes parents make when praising their kids

The Globe and Mail:

Everybody wants what’s best for their kids. We know we should be helping to build their self-esteem and boost their resilience. Problem is, our efforts might be doing more harm than good.

Multiple studies have shown that certain types of praise can actually harm children, whether it makes them shrink from challenges or suffer a loss of motivation to try new things. The latest research even shows that what seems like a natural tendency to heap praise on certain kids will backfire.

In a study to be published in the journal Psychological Science, researchers at Ohio State University found that this strategy can backfire. Children aged seven to 12 with low self-esteem who received inflated praise – “That drawing is perfect!” “You did super good!” – were more likely to avoid new challenges. Inflated praise sets high standards and kids with low self-esteem may steer clear of difficult tasks out of fear of falling short, the researchers said.

Read the whole story: The Globe and Mail

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