So if we can’t constantly praise our kids, how can we let them know we are proud of them? The other day I basically bashed the entire idea of being our kids’ number one cheerleading squad. I realized I needed to leave you with some alternatives to constant praise. Numerous studies have found that praising children can have the opposite effect, raising insecure children, dependent on receiving compliments. Children who are over-praised can feel scrutinized in every part of their daily life, including typical and mundane tasks like brushing teeth, sharing, or eating without making a mess. But if heaping praise on your child isn’t effective, how can you let your children know you are proud of them and support the development of their healthy self-esteem?
First, it’s important to understand why you are praising in the first place. When we praise our kids, we feel a deep joy at witnessing children master tasks that were once too challenging for them to handle. You want to share your excitement with them and encourage them to keep going with your support and confidence they can do it!
I don’t know if all of this stems from growing up with parents who never praised? So now we overcompensate? Or from the fear of not being the perfect parent and so we nervously praise everything so as to remind ourselves that we are doing a good job? Meaning, that the praise has nothing to do with our kids’ competency but ours alone?
I explained on Bundoo about how to go about letting your child know you are proud of them without feeling like “good job” is every other 3 words out of your mouth. There is a great resource at the end of the article that you should truly check out on more information as to why constant praise can be so damaging and what to do instead. Have some feedback, please share your comments below!