We want our children to feel happy about themselves as parents so we praise them often.

This is not necessarily a negative thing. There are many benefits to praising children, according to research. Simple compliments can increase self-worth and pride. It all depends on the kind of praise you give and how often.

Psychotherapist working with children and parents, I have seen the negative effects of praising children’s talents or outcomes. You’re so handsome! “Good job !”). These exaggerated, short-term reactions can lead kids to focus only on negative things and cause them to lose self-esteem. For example, they might experience performance anxiety (“If this answer is wrong, I am stupid”) or feel that their appearance doesn’t matter. They won’t like me.”

Also, praise your children often. Yes. There are both right and wrong ways of giving praise. Parents of mentally strong, confident and self-motivated children will always do the following:

1. They praise the process

Children are more likely to be positive about future challenges if you praise the process (e.g. the child’s effort in completing a math assignment) than the outcome (e.g. the child’s natural ability solve math problems quickly).

2. They have never entered a competition.

We parents love to compare. Sometimes, we will tell our children that they are better than other people (“You scored more goals than all of your teammates combined!” 

It’s often done with good intentions. We want them to feel proud of their accomplishments and be motivated to do better next time. But for the wrong reasons.

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3. They use observational languages

Instead of saying “That’s so great!” You might want to say “That’s so good!” instead of saying “That’s so great!” Please tell me why they were chosen. This is how you praise the process.

Another example: Parents of motivated children might not say “You looked like you were a pro on that bike!” Instead, they might say “You were so careful, focused, and safe while riding it.” You kept going, even when you fell off the bike a little bit, It was amazing to see.