The Right, and Wrong Way to Praise Your Kids
In the book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, author Amy Chua insisted that a demanding style of parenting is the very thing that makes Asian students perform at such a high level academically and musically. Her comments brought critics out of the woodwork.
A lot of moms just can’t help it; we heap tons of praise on our kids because we love them so much. Who can fault us for that, right? Well, it is great for our children to know how wonderful we think they are. But when it comes to praising them in the smarts category, we need to get a little more strategic.
Research shows that the most effective praise is directed at our children’s efforts. In fact, kids who were praised for their intelligence had less improvement academically, because they believed their potential was limited. Children praised on their hard work, or effort, felt that they could improve their outcomes, and did.
So when you can, build your child’s self-esteem by praising their effort.
Now, sometimes, a flat out compliment is fine—you’re so pretty, you’re so kind, you’re blessed with good intelligence—but try to find specific things to praise your children on, and praise the process. That way, they’ll see how their efforts are related to the outcomes.
© 2012 iMOM. All Rights Reserved. Family First, All Pro Dad, iMOM, and Family Minute with Mark Merrill are registered trademarks.