How to Prevent Praise Burnout

Too much of a good thing can be bad.  There is more truth to that than I’d like to admit.  This danger when it comes to overloading on the good stuff also applies to how we praise our kids.

We habitually say “Good job!”  to our kids when we want to praise them for a job well done, but if we say it all too often, those words tend to lose their meaning.  They eventually lose their magic and fail at making our children feel good about themselves.

The answer to building our kids’ self-esteem through praise is by using what’s called “specific praise” instead of “global praise”.  It’s about using details to give your kid a clear picture of his particular achievement.  With specific praise, a kid better understands what your praise actually means.

For instance, instead of saying “Good job, you’re so smart!” specifically tell your child how he has gotten to be smart.  You can say, “It’s the extra effort you put into studying about fractions every night that has helped you get an A in Math.  You worked hard, and you got a high grade.”  This type of praise then motivates him to keep working hard, knowing that it results in him getting high grades.

With constant practice, we should be able to use more specific praise on our kids.  Once we do so, our kids will end up becoming more confident about his capabilities and with a soaring self-esteem to handle life’s bigger challenges.