Praising your child for motivation – good or bad?

As parents we praise our child for almost all things, big or small …whether it’s reading books, coming first in a sports or getting good marks in exams. We, in general, keep telling them how smart they are to achieve anything. Thinking this will lead to very good motivation and help them do it again.

But ever wondered whether it’s good or bad for the child to have too much praise? or how our praise might impact them?

To understand it, let’s see how we perceive our success or failure. Recent study shows (Stanford article) how our attribution to failure or success makes a big difference. If we think we are smart and hence succeeded, a notion sets in that we are born with the skills. In case of failure we tell ourselves we are not good in this and give up easily. Whereas in both the above cases if we attribute it to hard work and learning skills, we would have succeeded much better. This Mental Attribution of failure/success is the game changer for us and what we achieve.

Now imagine if we almost always praise our kids for how smart they are? or how intelligent they are, this imparts them – How good I am and he/she thinks anything can be done without much efforts and sets a pattern. Eventhough they would have worked hard for it, we in general discount that fact while praising. Whereas if we say gr8 you have achieved this by working hard (Basically communicate it better with reasoning). This makes a big difference for them and they will be more ready to accept failure and work harder to succeed in all fields.

So dont worry about praising your child everytime as long as its done right its on! Next time if you praise your child, just consider doing a small change in how you do it!

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