Parenting and Praise

by | News, Parent Resources

Many parents struggle with the question: how much is too much praise and how much is not enough? This is one topic that many parents feel challenged with. Often we reference how our own parents praised us, and adjust our own parenting based on this benchmark. The usual standard is praising your child when they do well in an outdoor sport, receive an excellent grade in the classroom or achieve another important accomplishment. The fear with overpraise is that your child will need that constant attention in order to feel as though their actions are valued. We compiled a small list of guidelines to follow when praising your child. These guidelines are important to follow with your child and with other parents when discussing your child’s achievements.

Be Specific

Clearly identify what your child did that you are proud of. Instead of simply saying, “good job” or “you’re such a great asset to the team” you could say “you did a great job out there today assisting that soccer goal!” It’s also important that your child is proud of their achievements for their own sake. Another encouraging phrase to use is “you must be very proud of how you played today”.

Don’t Brag

It is good to be proud of your child’s achievements but sometimes sharing your thoughts in front of other parents can cause your child to become uncomfortable. Bragging to other parents in front of your child may also cause them to feel that they are unable to speak for themselves.

Avoid Sarcasm

Children have more difficulty picking up on sarcasm than adults do. They may take something that is said in a nonchalant manner more personally than you initially intended. Sarcasm is also cynical, and is both a product and reinforcement of negative thought patterns, which is not something that you want your child to pick up on.

There is never a right or wrong way of administering praise when it comes to parenting. Everyone has their own way of doing things. The most important things to consider are that there is a balance in giving praise and most of all, that your child feels loved.