Are Parents Creating “PRAISE JUNKIES”?

Are you creating a praise junkie? I think I might be….

“According to a survey conducted by Columbia University, 85 percent of American parents think it’s important to tell their kids that they’re smart.”

Studies out of Columbia University suggest that the TYPE of praise parents provide may be the key. Students who were praised for their performance were less likely to challenge themselves on more difficult puzzles than students who were praised for their efforts.

Example of praise for performance. “You rocked that. You must be really smart.”

Example of praise for effort. “You really tried a lot of different options before you got it right. You stuck to it l!”

Another finding, one incidence of failure caused performance based students to perform 30% WORSE on their next task. One experience of failure destroyed their confidence.

Students who were praised on effort INCREASED their scores by 20% after a failure. They trusted in their ability to overcome, failure caused them to work harder.

We see our children as absolutely amazing and talented beings, as we should. It is easy to praise them for their talents and performance. And, let’s be honest, when our kids kick a goal or get an honor or award, it makes us feel good!

But these are some of dangers of too much performance based praise:

  • Kids may be less likely to take risks and try more difficult challenges.
  • Kids may begin to develop a self based on pleasing and gaining approval from others, hello peer pressure?
  • Failures impact their future performance. They do not cope with failure well.
  • Frequently praised children become
    more competitive and more likely to tear others down.

We praise to connect with our children and communicate our unconditional love and admiration for who they are. I do it all of
the time! And yet, there may be ways to build grit and allow our kids figure out for themselves, just how great they are. Some will even figure this out doing some stuff that IS NOT very praise worthy. Right?

The highest form of praise might be just stepping back and trusting kids to figure it out in the safety of the boundaries and love we provide.❤️

The book, Nurture Shock contains fascinating research on how many of our modern, accepted modes of parenting are backfiring and actually don’t work. Check it out.👍🏻

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