Too many compliments or the wrong kind of praise can do more harm than good. When a child is branded as being “great” at something, he or she puts less effort into the assignment and may even dodge more difficult tasks that include that skill in the future, to continue receiving praise later.
So, what compliments and praises are good for your children to hear? These three praising strategies will boost children’s self-esteem while still allowing them to challenge themselves at various tasks.
🟡 Be specific. Generalities don’t make for great compliments, so make sure to point out exactly what they did well or what you liked. This will come across as more genuine. It will also show your child that you’re really paying attention by offering them clear and specific praise.
🟡 Focus on effort, not outcome. Most compliments refer to the outcome rather than what it took for the child to reach it. But that makes praise ineffective unless the outcome is stellar. Praise your child no matter the outcome by speaking about their effort. This works better because a child can’t always control the outcome, but they can control their effort.
🟡 Remark on good strategy. Good praise is not person-oriented, but process-oriented. In addition to praising your child’s effort, another helpful method is to speak highly about the strategy they used.
Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.
More articles on Mr Mizrahi's Blog - Benjamin Mizrahi