To praise or not to

@SViswan (12072)
India
February 19, 2011 4:14am CST
Children need to be nurtured and helped to grow as individuals. As far as praise is concerned, there are two schools of thought especially when it is done in public. Some people believe that the child needs to be praised in public for the child to understand that the parents mean it. And some others believe that praising the child in public leads to overconfidence. Now that got me wondering...which is the right way to go about handling children in the praise department?
14 people like this
40 responses
• Thailand
21 Feb 11
I think praising children is a good thing and you can do it for every good thing your child did. People said praising the child would lead to overconfident but I think confidence is what needed in my country. I live in thailand and people here are so shy that they dont speak up for themselves and ended up gossiping people who did! Everytime someone does something good he/she would say "No, i didn't do good, i'm bad, bla bla bla". Where do you think this attitude come from? Of course, their parents! I'm medical student and I study psychology and it's said somewhere in the book that if you keep discouraging your child and give no praise the children may grown up and with obsessive-compulsive personality. I would rather see my child growing up overconfidence than underconfidence because confidence isn't something you can have overnight. I will give you my experience. In the class my teacher asks about the major function of hormone ADH -anti-diuretic hormone. You know, in medical school everyone is extremely smart but nobody raise their hands and said "I know, I know!" it's just me! out of 154 MEDICAL STUDENT there's only me who raise the hand and answer the simplest question! At the end of class friends around me said why are you so confidence ( ok this comment is good i like it ) While i heard some friends said "What is so great about him (me) I too know the answer (Yeah, why dont you answer). See the problem? When people who has no confidence gathered around and make a society, people who have great confidence would be to blame ( like me in the example ). So I think confidence is a good thing nowadays. Just praise your child when he should be praise and everything will be fine.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
21 Feb 11
hmmm...interesting the way you put it....and being raised an Indian (though outside the country), I can relate to what you said. It's true and it was the same case in India till a couple of years ago. In a group at a workplace, the Indian hardly raised their hand to question or answer or give an idea. They would wait till the presentation was over and corner the person heading it. I've even read about this somewhere...and the funny thing was that the idea was brilliant but the Indian was shy...and apparently it's a common scenario in Asian cultures. The trend has now changed (especially in the cosmopolitan city that I stay at) with people having travelled abroad and returning. But I find that some people overdo it. But if a parent would rather have an overconfident child than an underconfident one, then so be it. Your take on this is certainly interesting....and true.
1 person likes this
• Thailand
21 Feb 11
I agree with you that the trend has been changed. I was an exchange student in the USA 5 years ago and when I came back to my country all of my friends and parents told me that i have more confidence and yes it is a change into a better person. :D I think confidence is a must have if you want to become successful at anything. If you are not confident in yourself how can you do great thing? I have studied biography of many successful persons in the world and I learned that all of them share the same thing in common which ordinary people don't have. Confidence and passion! You can't keep your passion alive if you don't have great confidence!
@SViswan (12072)
• India
21 Feb 11
Very well said, meddyping. And it could also be that you were able to appreciate the praise because you were denied that for so many years, isn't it? Anyway, it is a good thing and it has given you the confidence boost that you needed.
1 person likes this
@EdnaReyes (2628)
• Philippines
19 Feb 11
Overdoing it may ruin the good sense of praising little children. We can do it in moderation, enough for them to gain confidence, enough for them to know that they've been appreciated, then I guess everything will go right. Setting up the limitations is on how much the child needs to have his confidence boosted!
2 people like this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
19 Feb 11
That makes sense...but seeing many parents around me, I feel that some people overdo it and some people underdo it. They don't seem to know what moderation is!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
20 Feb 11
when do you say that you have overdone it? when a child has done something great, we need to praise the child. what if the child has done great things a lot of times. should we not praise the child for his/her achievement? if the child has done something great and we did not praise him/her for that so as to moderate praising the child. will the child not think that we did not appreciate what he/she did because we did not praise him/her for that?
@SViswan (12072)
• India
21 Feb 11
HI drinylane. I understand your questions. When the child is overly praised for the same accomplishments again and again, the child doesn't see any value for it. The child also is not challenged to do better which the child might/might not be capable of. I do not say NEVER praise a child to moderate praise. But the praise (I feel) needs to genuine and needs to be given when the child has made an effort and has achieved something. As an example......if a child who has been averaging 60% academically works hard and gets and 80%, that child needs to be praised and encouraged. But if a child who is capable of 90% need not be praised for an 80% (doesn't need to be put down either). This is just an example...personally as a teacher and a parent, I do not believe in marks as a criteria to judge a child.
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
23 Feb 11
I don't think it matters where one praises a child as long as it's done when the child does the right thing. Also, depending on the child's personality is how one should approach the praising. What I mean is, one child might be shy and doesn't want a lot of attention from the public so it's good to go easy with the praise so it's between you and the child. Whereas another child might be outgoing and therefore would welcome the public display of praise. So it all depends on how the child will accept the praise regardless of if it's in public or not.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
23 Feb 11
That's right! But how many parents pay enough attention to the kids to understand what kind of a child they are? Most of the time they are trying to mould them according to their ways. Sad,right? No one takes the middle path...it's either extreme (in most cases).....it's like 'one rule works for all'...which is never the case.
1 person likes this
@aerous (13474)
• Philippines
23 Feb 11
We should praise the kids if they do good things and need to remind with them when they do bad things
2 people like this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
23 Feb 11
Thank you aerous, that's a very good approach :)
1 person likes this
@drannhh (15229)
• United States
21 Feb 11
I do not think there is any such thing as overconfidence for a child. I believe they should be praised in public and in private but only criticized in private and then gently and with some praise mixed in. There is a difference between having confidence and having false pride. If a child is taught not to have false pride, then public praise with not spoil her (or him).
2 people like this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
21 Feb 11
I don't think public praise will spoil a child but too much praise for the littlest of things might. I definitely agree on criticism in private and done in a constructive way and not to put the child down.
1 person likes this
@drinylane (117)
• Philippines
20 Feb 11
praise the child whenever it is needed. the parent would know if he/she needs to give his/her child praise. i think you can feel it that praise is due. do not hesitate, we are discussing of overpraised. what do you think will happen if we did not praise the child?
2 people like this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
21 Feb 11
WE are not discussing if a child needs to be praised or not. We are discussing about praise in public. Each parent has a different viewpoint. Praising a child for their achievement in public often boosts their confidence and the child knows the parents are proud of them. But praising a child for the littlest thing in public actually is of no value.
@srganesh (6349)
• India
19 Feb 11
I think the parents should not follow a single thing alone. Just do the needful according to the situation. Sometimes you have to praise them in the public and sometimes you have to do it in private. You have to maintain their ego without making them over confident. It is very tricky and hence they call, parenting is an art.
@SViswan (12072)
• India
20 Feb 11
Ah!! Tell me about the art of parenting! It truly is a tricky art :) When my older son was much younger, he would do a task for his own satisfaction. The moment he was praised he would stop doing whatever he was doing. Later when he was slightly older and able to explain, he said that he didn't want to be praised...he would do whatever he could and similarly he didn't want to be put down either. I knew when to wait and let him correct himself (my husband still hasn't!). My son then wasn't sure what he wanted when his teachers and my friends would tell me in his presence that I need to praise him more. I now feel he now does certain things just to receive praise from his favourite 'aunties'!
@dpk262006 (56225)
• Delhi, India
20 Feb 11
Hi SV! I may tell at the outset that this discussion of yours is the highest rated discussion dated 20.2.2011. Congratulations on starting such an interesting discussion, as you always do !!! I think that if our child excels in any field, there is nothing wrong if s/he is praised in public. For me public here means that known to people, not strangers. I would find it utterly embarrassing to praise my own children in front of strangers. My son is good at studies and therefore, whenever I get an opportunity to tell about him I do not hesitate to highlight his achievements. I praise him when he is with at a public place or even if he is not with me. I keep reminding him that your achievements are not only important for you but it will also enhance our reputation as your parents and the 'respect' is most precious gift, you can give to your parents. And he 'understands' how he can keep it up and he works hard for it. I do not believe in criticising my children in public, as it may demoralise them. I keep telling them about their negative traits when at home and ask them to rectify it for their own betterment.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
21 Feb 11
Thank you,Deepak! I didn't realize that mine was the highest rated discussion..lol Yes, you are right. Criticising constructively should be done in private. But when it comes to praise...you are doing the right thing and seeing the way your son is being motivated, I guess you are doing it in the right way....specific praise and knowing that you are proud of him also motivates him:) Good job on the praising
1 person likes this
@dpk262006 (56225)
• Delhi, India
21 Feb 11
Actually, when we open home page, highest rated discussion is reflected on the left side (I saw it today also). Yeah, he gets motivated when we praise him and now he has grown up to understand the meaning of 'praise' and its consequent affects ...........lol!
@SViswan (12072)
• India
21 Feb 11
I hardly ever go to the home page. I went right now and saw it. lol...I was the first one to ever get a highest rated discussion when it started a couple of years back. If I'm not mistaken it was for my 'Thank you/sorry' discussion. It's great to be up there after such a long time...lol....most of my other discussions hardly get any responses!
@mayka123 (10730)
• India
21 Feb 11
I believe that when the child has done something good he should be praised at that moment itself. They should only be praised when they have improved in something. Not everytime they do something good but when they do something better. Whether we are in a public place or at home. This does help them improve themselves.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
21 Feb 11
So, that means we have to judge the situation and praise accordingly.:)
1 person likes this
@mayka123 (10730)
• India
21 Feb 11
And also make sure our other kids are not hurt in the bargain. If we continuously praise one child the other automatically gets hurt. They dont understand that they are not praised because they have not done anything praiseworthy
@SViswan (12072)
• India
21 Feb 11
That is true. But there is always something to praise each child for. I just make sure I praise the other child too. It might not be at the same time and for the same reason. I know what you are talking about. My older one does think that praising his little brother means that he himself isn't good enough. And then we need to remind him of the things we praise him for (and not the younger one)...and also that the things we praise a 4 year old for are not the same things we praise a 10 year old for.
1 person likes this
• India
19 Feb 11
Children need to be praised in public to boost their confidence level. They will not become overconfident by doing. Handling children and praising are good things. Children would love to be praised. Even we are praised in public, we would not become overconfident right.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
20 Feb 11
I don't know for sure. I personally become very bashful when I am praised in public. Once I am praised, I feel I lose the motivation to do whatever it is that I was doing. It is not over confidence....or maybe I'm just plain weird :P On the same lines, I do not like to be put down either. Constructive criticism should be put across to me very carefully in a politically correct way. Only then can I accept it. But having handled many kids, I agree with you that most children love to be praised and it definitely boosts their confidence level.
• Philippines
20 Feb 11
people are different in many ways... some people stop doing what they are doing when they were already praised for that but other will continue doing what they are doing to be praised again.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
21 Feb 11
Yes, drinylane! People are different and that is exactly why we need to be able to understand the person/child before reacting in a particular way. One rule does not fit all. I've seen that in my class of students as well as my kids. I have to handle each one differently.....even in the same situation.
1 person likes this
• India
19 Feb 11
It depends on us of how to praise the child.. They should not be praised for every small small things because they may feel overconfident that they can do everything and this mat create a disaster. But it doesnt mean that they should not be praised at all. They should be praised for the things which we had not thought they can do i.e beyond their usual capabilities and be sure that they have to be praised little bit or child may be lost in under confidence
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
20 Feb 11
I agree that children should not be praised for the littlest things. But sometimes (I feel) that even genuine praise...if overdone...can create over confidence. As you point out, even I used to think that they should be praised for the things that we feel that they could not have done. But I've had people tell me (in my son's presence) that I need to praise him for whatever he has done. I do not wish to explain that what he has done is no big deal as far as he is concerned.
• Philippines
20 Feb 11
what if the child has not done things that is worthy of praise? should we not praise him for the littlest thing that he has done but did his best? it really depends on the child receiving the praise.
@SViswan (12072)
• India
21 Feb 11
Exactly drinylane! It depends on the CHILD and not the task! If the child has made an effort to do the littlest thing where the child has done his/her best. And I have seen my son giving up when he gets praised for doing something without much effort. I have explained it in a later comment.
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
20 Feb 11
Good question and not sure I guess I have done obth to my kids and rgrand daugther DOnt think it hurts to give them confidene in themselves let them know they reallycan do what they want it life and if owrked at can accel
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
21 Feb 11
I guess praise in moderation works. And it also is upto the parent to decide what works for their child.
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
22 Feb 11
yes I think so too
@zweeb82 (5713)
• Malaysia
20 Feb 11
I guess to me it doesn't matter whether it's done in home or public, as long as the child knows what it's all about. If they become too cocky or overconfident, just straighten them out. Our child will know that we always mean it because my wife & I will always stand together & not be manipulated to disagree with each other in front of the child if we were to discipline him. Children are very smart, they even know whether or not when parents are genuinely really praising them or just plainly using hem to boast in front of others
@SViswan (12072)
• India
21 Feb 11
Yes, kids are smart and they need genuine praise. It's also good that your wife and you provide a united front and do not get manipulated.
1 person likes this
@zweeb82 (5713)
• Malaysia
21 Feb 11
Yup, in the unity he'll know that we mean business, haha!~
• Canada
19 Feb 11
Well in my opinion it shouldn't matter where you praise them. I praise my children for doing good in and out of public. if they are always ONLY scolded in public they aren't going to want to go anywhere with you and may feel like you are ashamed of them. All praise or discipline can be done in public. if your child acts out and you think he/she deserve a time out it can be done in public. Some people don't think they can cause it's "embarrassing" but really if you do it in public then they know not to misbehave. my discipline in public is putting my 4 yr old in the cart if she doesn't listen to me or my man.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
20 Feb 11
Though I wouldn't recommend doing it all the time, a little 'embarassment' in public works....and I use that only when my kids have pushed their limits. At the same time, I do not thinking scolding all the time or praising all the time in public works. We need to apply both and then the kids will be able to appreciate it and know how to handle themselves in public.
• Canada
20 Feb 11
Yea I agree 100%. there is definitely a happy medium that we have to try and go by.
• United States
19 Feb 11
First I have to say , I am not a parent nor will I ever be . Now I think it deoends on the child. Some children come out of the womb So Confident. And others never seem to have any confidence at all. For the first child , not he/she doesn't need it. They will just be Overconfident. But the second , needs praise and encouragement. If they child is in the middle of these extremes? Then praise them every once in a while. It all depends on he child.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
20 Feb 11
That sums it up just right :) But most parents/adults don't seem to get it right...they can't judge which child is confident and which is the child who needs praise lavished on them and which child needs it in moderation. I guess most of them do not even think logically to appreciate which category their child falls under. As a kindergarten teacher, I've experienced it myself....'one size DOESN'T fit all'....and the kind of motivation/boost that each child needed was different. Some kids needed praise and some kids needed challenge(praise might come in other forms at the end)
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Feb 11
I got it right!Wow!
@andy77e (5165)
• United States
24 Feb 11
It's a balance between the two. If you constantly demand they get better, kids end up frustrated and resentful. On the other hand, if you praise them for everything, even if they didn't do well, they'll end up not seeing a need to improve themselves. I'm so great, I don't need to get better.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
25 Feb 11
I agree that a balance need to be maintained. But as a parent, it's hard to figure out the middle path.
@dainy1313 (2354)
• Leon, Mexico
23 Feb 11
Hi Sviswan, I think the extremes are rather negative. So we can just praise them when necessary when its needed, when kids really made an effort to gain it. My parents didn´t praised me too much, almost never, no matter where were we. And my aunt praised their children everywhere even, really everywhere no matter where they were or whom they were... so we say here... the candle to the saint... not to close... not to far... hehehe. Blessings!... Dainy
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
23 Feb 11
Thank you,Dainy. Moderation is the safest way, isn't it? :)
1 person likes this
@staria (2782)
• Philippines
23 Feb 11
Praise those who deserve it, if your kid deserve it, whether in public or not.. give it to your child.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
23 Feb 11
Thank you,Staria :)
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15899)
• Australia
22 Feb 11
I am commenting as a person who received no praise whatsoever from my parents and that is no exaggeration! I did receive a lot of abuse and criticism instead but that is for another discussion! I have a daughter whom I praise privately and in public because I don’t want her to grow up as my sister and I did with no self-confidence at all and plenty of self-hatred. My child has a healthy self-esteem although she is very sensitive and somewhat shy. I do not consider her to be over confident at all. I think praise is paramount and it does depend on the individual child as to when it is issued.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
23 Feb 11
I'm sorry that you were never praised as a child. And I can understand that it was a hit to your self esteem. I'm glad that you've been able to praise your child and let her be the confident person that she is today. Yes, praise is important and depends on the child as to what kind of praise it should be and when it should be issued.
1 person likes this
@KrauseHome (35341)
• United States
21 Feb 11
Personally I think when it comes to Praising a child and tell him or her that you are proud of them for what they have just done is something a parent should never be afraid to do. I think it personally helps their self confidence and gives them a desire to want to keep on getting these praises as well. When you are afraid to do this in public, it could mean you were never taught something like this, and afraid your child might look at you strange as well.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
22 Feb 11
I agree. But a lot of parents debate about a child doing something expecting praise in return. Not that they do not want to praise the child...but child coming to expect praise as a reward is what they are against.She child then isn't self-motivated to do something is their take on the matter. Though I've come across many different children, praise works for some and not for others.....but I'm not an expert on the matter. And I watch each child to see what can motivate them and how.