Q:

My parents think that we are overdoing the amount of praise that we give our children. Could they be right? -- Too Much Praise

A:

Most parents believe that when they praise their children they are building up their self-worth and helping them become more confident. However, an article in New York Magazine titled "How not to Talk to your Kids: The Inverse Power of Praise" references a study conducted by psychologist Carol Dweck. The article explains that research proves that it is not good to praise your child for being intelligent; conversely, it is great to praise the child for the hard work that he or she puts in. The brain is a muscle, and the harder children work the brain, the better it will develop.

You need to praise your children for specific things; meaningless praise is just that -- meaningless. Did you realize that children as young as 7 years old know the difference between praise that they have earned through hard work and just praise for nothing specific?

There is danger in too much meaningless praise; it can turn children into non-learners. Your parents are right if your praise is not for effort and meaningful accomplishments.