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How much praise should we give our kids?

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Of course every parent wants to build self-esteem in their child, but can too much praise, or the wrong kind, backfire?

Carol Dweck, author of “Parent Praise” claims it can. Her research found that kids who were given kudos for their effort (you tried really hard) as opposed to their sense of self (you are really smart) had higher self-esteem and were more motivated.


If too much praise isn’t such a good thing, should we avoid giving kids trophies for simply showing up? Does the wrong kind of positive reinforcement as a child explain why some adults feel worthless after losing a job? If the research is sound, should we readjust how we talk to our kids?


Carol Dweck, professor of psychology, Stanford University; author, "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success"