Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Praising kids can be good or bad

Slate reports on parenting research:
So far, the research has treated praise as a fixed influence—a kind of powdered sugar (or crack) that tastes the same to everyone. But a new study in Psychological Science clarifies that praise’s effects depend on the characteristics of the kid receiving it. Kids with high self-esteem often respond to glowing kudos by taking the types of risks that might win them more approbation. Meanwhile, kids with low self-esteem tend to “avoid crucial learning experiences” in the wake of compliments, says Utrecht University psychologist Eddie Brummelman, because they fear “revealing [their] deficiencies.”
I have had people tell me that gushing praise is always best for a child, and that anything else might permanently damage his self-esteem. Such advice is lousy. Over-the-top praise might sometimes be appreciated, but it is not good to always give such praise.

1 comment:

William Rex said...

I was an overly praised child. It ruins a lot of things. A small success was praised like a large one, and even when I failed I was patted on the back for having tried. Made the effort of doing hard things seem pointless.