Praising Kids And Effects

Today modern parenting seems to suggest that children need motivation and need to be praised periodically.

This principle is extended to Adults as well..

Praising Children.
Praising Children.

The habit of praising becomes a routine and it is recited as though by rote.

The funny habit of saying ”I Love you’ to spouse ritualistically daily every day more often at a fixed time with more or some similar phrases like ‘you look great’ sounds silly and insincere.

If it were to look silly to the observer , how much would it sound it to the person involved.!

This indiscriminate and insincere ritualistic praise heaped on the children spoil the children.


Be objective and praise the child when to.


Simple method to know whether your Praise  for children is insincere, check whether you become aware of it.


If yes, your praise is Insincere.


Let me quote a  Sanskrit saying.


Treat the Child as you would a King till 5 years,


As a Slave till 15  and


A Friend  after 15 .



“For example, suppose that Adam loves to eat broccoli. But every time he eats broccoli, his mom praises him for it. Consciously or unconsciously, Adam starts to question his motivation. Is he eating broccoli only for the praise? Adam changes his attitude toward broccoli-eating. It’s a chore, not a pleasure. If the praise ends, Adam loses interest in eating broccoli.

Does this sort of thing really happen? It’s been well-documented in cases where people are given tangible rewards each time they perform a particular behavior (e.g., giving your child some money each time he eats broccoli). The feedback appears to re-set a person’s attitude (Lepper and Henderlong 2000).

There’s less research showing that social rewards—like praise—can produce the same effect. However, a recent brain study reveals that social rewards (like praise) and tangible rewards (like money) activate the same regions of the brain (Izuma et al 2008). And a food-tasting experiment performed on children found that praise, like tangible rewards, made kids like a food less (Birch et al 1984).

But the key point seems to be that praise must be given every time, so that kids expect to be praised for the behavior .

When praise is unexpected or spontaneous, it remains a powerful motivating force.

So this doesn’t mean we can’t—or shouldn’t—praise our children for good behavior or a job well done. But suggests we should be cautious about overriding our kids’ natural sources of motivation.

At first blush, it might seem like a good idea to praise kids for out-performing their peers. After all, research has shown that such social-comparison praise enhances a child’s motivation and enjoyment of a task (see review in Henderlong and Lepper 2002)

If their competitive edge slips, kids are likely to lose motivation.

In essence, kids who are accustomed to social-comparison praise become poor losers.

Consider this experiment on American 4th and 5th graders (Corpus et al 2006). Kids were given a set of puzzles to complete and received either

• social-comparison praise

• mastery praise (i.e., comments about how the child had mastered the task)


• no praise at all

Next, kids completed a second task. This time they were left without clear feedback about how they’d done.

How did this uncertainty affect each child’s motivation?

It depended on what kind of praise kids had received earlier. Those who had received social comparison praise suffered a loss of motivation. But kids who had received mastery praise showed enhanced motivation.

In other words, a history of social-comparison praise backfires the minute kids stop hearing that they’ve outperformed their peers.


Author: ramanan50

Retired Senior Management Professional. Lectures on Indian Philosophy,Hinduism, Comparative Religions. Researching Philosophy, Religion. Free lance Writer.Blogger

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