It's natural to want to praise our children. Maybe they did well at school or in a game or on the stage, but a new study warns that all that praise could be doing more harm than good.
When can offering praise be detrimental? According to researchers at universities around the world (U.S., Britain and the Netherlands), if you overpraise a self-conscious or under-confident child, those words of encouragement could actually lead to issues later. If they are told they're doing well, they could feel the pressure and expectation to always do that well.
"If you tell a child with low self-esteem that they did incredibly well, they may think they always need to do incredibly well," said one of the study researchers, Eddie Brummelman. "They may worry about meeting these high standards and decide not to take on any new challenges."
While never praising your children seems out of the question, perhaps try to measure it. Don't go overboard and pick and choose the accomplishments you feel are truly worth loads of praise.
The study was published in the Journal of Psychological Science.