Can You Praise Kids Too Much?

Written Praise

This is a question we struggled with when our kids were young. We wanted to praise them effectively, and we had a sense that too much praise or the wrong kind of praise would be ineffective or possibly even harmful.

Based on what we knew from human behavior and motivation research that we learned in our business endeavors, we started looking for ways to strike the right balance of praise with our kids. And, frankly, we had a hard time finding the right balance.

We did learn some things in the process, and what we saw with our children matches what Wilson McCaskill of ‘Play is the Way’ says in this video…

Should we praise our children? – Practical Parenting


We eventually learned the lesson that a balanced, specific approach to both praise and discipline gave us the best results. In fact in became the basis of a parenting “system” we created to help us to stay on track. We called it The Behavior Bucks System, and we used it steadily from the time our kids were between the ages of 8 and 12 years old.

In thinking through this post today, I found some other great articles to help you develop a broader perspective on this important parenting and child behavior topic.

Wrong Kind of Praise for Kids Can Backfire –

As a result, praise became a way to boost children’s self-esteem. However, beginning in the 1990s, researchers began finding that too much praise, or praise for the wrong reason, can be detrimental …

Helen asks: ‘Does giving too much praise to children harm their self

Recently newspapers have published articles addressing the question: ‘Does giving too much praise to children harm their self-esteem?’ This title is somewhat vague and the question needs further investigation. Different

Too Much Praise Is No Good for Toddlers –

New research shows that too much praise for very young children can have negative repercussions down the road.

Not smart to praise your kids too much |

DON’T tell your kids they’re smart, especially if they’re not.

This post references research, but it’s not specifically research based. I like it because of the point that Alisa Bowman makes. In the effort to avoid overpraising, some people gravitate the other direction and either totally withhold praise or over use criticism.

The Power of Positive Praise

Yes, of course, there’s a time for constructive feedback, but, all too often, we err on the side of too much feedback and not enough praise. Try to dish out three compliments for every one criticism. 2. Thank. Once you’ve

In the end, the issue seems to be to balance your comments, rewards, and punishments to help your kids develop a realistic expectation about what they will receive in the “real world” when they become adults.

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