Blog Post 69 Childcare 101

Childcare 101: Too Much of a Good Thing? How to Praise Kids Effectively

We all know that kids should be praised for doing something right or behaving well in various situations. But is there such a thing as too much praise? Many childcare experts say yes. It’s possible for too much praise to negatively impact the process of rewarding good behavior. The most important thing to remember when it comes to praising our children effectively, should be the quality of our praise rather than the quantity. Understanding when and how to praise your child can play a fundamental role in raising confident children with a healthy self-esteem.

When to Praise:

When she complies – Praise your child for following your instructions and complying with the rules. Your child also deserves praise for playing quietly and entertaining herself, so make sure calm and peaceful behavior doesn’t go unnoticed.

When he displays prosocial behavior – When your child interacts with other children in a healthy way, such as by taking turns, sharing, using kind words, or just getting along in general, you should reward this kind of prosocial behavior with praise.

When she shows effort – As a way of encouraging your child, you should praise them for learning a new skill or for their willingness to try hard. Your patience and strategic praise during these situations will motivate your child to keep trying until they have mastered the skill.

How to Praise:

Praise the process specifically – How we praise our children can affect their mindset. Childcare professionals have found that the best way to create a growth mindset is to praise the process. Children with a growth mindset, relate success to the act of becoming smarter, as opposed to showing that they are already smart.

So rather than offering your child a general statement of praise such as “You’re so smart” for doing something right, try praising the process instead. For instance, “You found a really good way to tie your shoes” or “I can tell you’ve been practicing this.”

Praise positively – Praise should never be mixed with criticism, or it will reduce the effectiveness of the praise. Instead of saying “I’m glad you didn’t cry this time,” try something along the lines of “I’m proud of you for staying calm when I said you couldn’t have the toy.”

Praise genuinely – Children will know when you’re being insincere, and praising them insecurely could cause them to lose trust in you. This may also lead to insecurity. If they don’t believe your positive words, it could cause confusion in trying to distinguish when you mean the praise and when you don’t. Instead of saying, “You’re the smartest kid in the world, try “You do a really good job getting your homework done.”

Praise at Carpe Diem Private Preschool

Our teachers at Carpe Diem Private Preschool – Southlake, Allen, Frisco, Richardson, and Cedar Park – Austin, are trained to develop the child cognitively, as well as socially and emotionally. Our programs are based on the best knowledge of education theory and research, and our teachers are well-trained to administer just the right amount of quality praise to each individual child.