Is praise necessary for the kids ? Is there a right amount of praise ?

Are we praising our kids for anything and everything  these days ? Whether they swim well or not , whether they played soccer well or not or for that matter just came out of the horse riding class- “ good job” is the most common phrase that will be uttered . Is this a must –does it also give the kids a false sense of self ? More like playing tennis on Wii might ace the game at the game console but playing in the real field is totally different. Often , a game on the WII has been confused with the real game ! yes absolutely true –no exaggeration.


Encouragement should not be confused with false praise . It is totally alright to praise the effort that the child put in but praising him/her for overall –more like praising him for being what he is –just makes the child feel that he is someone great and once the child begins to have this feeling of greatness –we are preparing him for failure . He will be scared of trying anything that he may think he will fail at –because in his mind he has a self-image of being great –and he does not want to break the image. Whatever happened to the phrase “practice makes one perfect”?


There has been a complete shift in the last 45-50 years. Parents were very strict, praise was almost unheard of – it was believed that if you praised your children –they will start feeling too great about themselves and would become very haughty. Now it is completely the opposite –parents praise their kids for everything –in fact a new term has been coined for such parents –“praise junkies” where the kid even gets praised for finishing his food, going to the bathroom, taking bath etc. …


Overpraise is as bad as under praise . If you don’t praise your kid at all you might make them feel incapable . They may become too much self-doubting. You want the kids to grow up –level headed and balanced. So instead of praising every act of theirs , resort to process praise –praise the effort that the child puts in any activity –it will act as a vicious cycle . His subconscious will get attuned to listening for praise for the effort he put in which will further push him to do better .


Children recognize empty praises –especially when parents put every little achievement of the kids on their FB in the hope to get a loud applaud  from their friends and relatives. FB has made people more courteous – in not really a gainful way. When you see a friend’s post of his second grader getting a medal home after the piano recital- you are bound to like it –even though you know that it was really not a competition, or for that matter when you see a friend putting pictures of his first grader reading ‘n number of books- (even though you mutter under your breath –big deal) you will like the post – giving the parents and the child involved a false sense of self.

So, parents should be cognizant of what to praise –our vote is on praising the effort the kid put in and not praising the false laurels or everyday activity.

Written by Suchitra Sharma