Is it too much to praise?

Praising your kids—it seems like an obvious, not-fraught thing parents should do. And yet, according to a new study, delivering praise to children in ways that inspire rather than sabotage is harder than it sounds.
What forms of cheerleading stick? How do you convey sincerity? How do you avoid burdening your kid with stratospheric expectations? Developmental scientists have been asking these questions for a while now. So far, the research has treated praise as a fixed influence—a kind of powdered sugar (or crack) that tastes the same to everyone. But a new study in Psychological Science clarifies that praise’s effects depend on the characteristics of the kid receiving it. Kids with high self-esteem often respond to glowing kudos by taking the types of risks that might win them more approbation. Meanwhile, kids with low self-esteem tend to “avoid crucial learning experiences” in the wake of compliments, says Utrecht University psychologist Eddie Brummelman, because they fear “revealing [their] deficiencies.”
Source: Slate

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