TODAY | March 06, 2013
>>> this morning on parenting "today," how much praise is too mu much? on one hand we want to boost our kids' self esteem but research now shows that overpraising can have a negative effect. good morning, michelle.
>> good morning.
>> helping us with our parenting issues. i'm guilty of this i like to praise and prop my kids up. you do wonder if we're having the wrong effect on our kids.
>> we know praise is a good thing to do, but too much or the wrong kind can be deadly. example, it can lower your kid's motivation and reduce the amount of effort he puts into something, lower his grades and even lower his self esteem . we're going to do it the right way.
>> let's look at four signs that you may be praising your child a little too much. the first one you point to is that the kid is self centered.
>> everything is me, me, me. he forgets the kid who is also on the same team.
>> another sign is that they're praise dependent.
>> tell me i did a good job, mommy, and they're waiting for it. or the other one is they get so used to t you're going to tell me i did a good job, mom.
>> they expect accolades for the smallest things.
>> how about being over dependent?
>> a big red flag. too much praise makes the kid become too over competitive to the point he starts tearing the other kids down because he wants to maintain his own image.
>> competitive is okay, but if they're tearing down the other person, not so good.
>> now you'll walk us thruways -- through ways to build our kids up the right way.
>> this is the most brilliant research ever. we've done this with very young children, babies. moms who praise the child the right way and praise how hard you're working. they stress the effort and not the end product.
>> praise-free comment.
>> add a period at the end of it. you did it all by yourself, period. you don't have to lavish them with the sugar coat. or ask the child the questions. what excited you about that project? or how did you figure out how to get your bike all the way down the end of the street without the training wheels ?
>> you also say to ask questions, as you said.
>> or switch your praise. this one is so simple. instead of using always the i prokno pronoun, switch, you should be proud of yourself. what did you do? simple little things . the child becomes more internally motivated.
>> is there a style of parenting? if you could describe it, healthy mix of giving praise but not too much?
>> you want to balance self esteem so it has equal parts of i feel worthy and worthwhile or loveable but i also feel capable in order to handle life. parenting styles are clearly telling us what kind of home produces that. warm, accepting environment. rules on your refrigerator. and the third one is there's opportunities to be listened to and heard.
>> what about when children fail, how much should you prop them back up?
>> we really want the confident part. you want to support them, obviously, natalie. what you don't want to do is rob them from the opportunity to figure out things for themselves. that's what boosts their self esteem . sit down and say what could you do next time? it really helps that child bounce back. then you see what really works, that huge smile that's that inner confidence that they don't need us as a praise-a-holic.
>> our culture, society is a trophy culture, that every kid gets a trophy.
>> how are we doing as a society in terms of --
>> not well. when our kids get out there in the thing called the real world , wall street is hiring people who are praise coaches because our kids need so darn much praise. for heaven's sakes, let's do it right. let's look at the words and as a parent you can pack yourself on the back and say good job, dad. i'm praising the right way.
>> it's funny, we have a trophy for every sport.