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Is Overpraising Your Child Hindering Their Long-Term Development?

Family Education Eric Jones 114 views 0 comments

I must express my concern regarding the practice of excessively praising a child who may not meet certain academic or developmental standards. In this scenario, it is clear that the child in question has average to below-average intellectual abilities, yet the parent has been engaging in what is commonly known as “overpraising” or “parental overvaluing”.

While it is understandable for parents to want their children to succeed and perform well in school, research has shown that overpraising can have negative consequences for a child’s long-term development and self-esteem. The effects of overpraising, or providing excessive positive feedback to children, can vary based on the child’s age, personality, and past experiences.

For young children, overpraising can actually hinder their motivation to learn and explore their world. When they receive praise for everything they do, regardless of effort or accomplishment, they may start to rely on that external validation rather than their own intrinsic motivation. This can lead to a fear of failure, as they believe that if they do not receive constant praise, they are not doing well. Additionally, overpraising can create an unrealistic view of their abilities, leading to frustration and disappointment when they face challenges or obstacles.

As children get older, overpraising can have different effects. For instance, when a child moves into their tween or teen years, they may start to see through the excess praise and feel like the underlying message is not genuine. This can lead to feelings of mistrust and disconnection from their parent, as they realize that their parent is not being honest about their abilities and potential. Additionally, overpraising can limit a child’s ability to learn from constructive feedback and criticism, as they may see it as a personal attack or a sign that they are not meeting their parent’s high expectations.

Now, the parent in this scenario mentions that they have seen positive results from their excessive praise, but it is essential to consider what those results may mean in the long-term. Is the child truly improving their academic performance and self-esteem, or are they just becoming more reliant on constant encouragement? Additionally, it is possible that the child is simply doing what they believe their parent wants to see, rather than pursuing their own interests and passions.

Instead of relying on overpraising, parents can use more effective strategies to support their child’s development and academic success. First, it is crucial to provide honest and constructive feedback. This means acknowledging a child’s accomplishments and efforts, while also recognizing areas where they can improve. Parents can help their child see challenges and mistakes as opportunities for growth and learning, rather than personal failures.

Parents can also promote self-motivation and perseverance by encouraging their child to set goals and work towards them. By setting challenging but attainable goals, children can build self-confidence and a sense of competence. Additionally, parents can support their child’s interests and passions by exposing them to new experiences and encouraging them to pursue activities they enjoy.

Finally, parents can help their child build a healthy sense of self-esteem by focusing on their unique qualities and strengths, rather than comparing them to others. By recognizing their individual talents and abilities, children can develop a positive self-concept and a sense of pride in who they are.

While overpraising may seem like a quick fix for boosting a child’s self-esteem and academic performance, it can have negative consequences for their long-term development and sense of self. Instead, parents should focus on providing honest feedback, encouraging self-motivation and perseverance, supporting their child’s interests and passions, and promoting a healthy sense of self-esteem. With these strategies, parents can help their child reach their full potential and develop into confident, capable adults.

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