Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Praise When Praise is Due


Aloha Everyone!

“Praise When Praise is Due” This topic was very interesting to me from ExchangeEveryDay messages that were sent on September 16, 2009. While reading this article I felt this was kind of true. Carol Dweck Ph.D. said:

"Children who are praised too much also feel continually judged. Research suggests that overly praised kids become more conscious of their image, more competitive, and more prone to cut others down. And too much praise can hook kids on it: they require higher and higher doses of compliments and feel like there's something wrong when they aren't being bombarded with kudos."

In my years working for the Department of Education as a PPT and ST. I did notice some students who were very competitive in everything they do, always looking for an adult (teachers and administrators) that would praise them. These students would actually intimidate other student in their classroom because of their behavior.

I do see what Carol Dweck Ph.D is talking about. Don’t get me wrong I do believe that giving praise is a lot better that giving criticism. In a year or so I will be a teacher in elementary education and I hope my praises would make a positive impact on my students


  1. That is true... I have a couple of children in my preschool class that always says, "Ms. Ashley, look at what I did..." and sometimes it's just too much. But that is why in preschool, encouragement and describing is better than saying, "good job."


  2. If I never entered Early Childhood Education, I would never have known the relevance of how children are praised. I always assumed that something is better than nothing but with young children, it's very sensitive. I used to tell my bf's cousin "good job" "great" and blah blah blah. She liked it at first but then she didn't respond to it after because she didn't know what she did good or great on. You're totallly right!

  3. Hi Gary. Until I took a child guidance course a few years ago, I never really thought how empty and meaningless my automatic responses of "good job" were from the point of view of a child. I was surprised to also hear that some generic praising statements such as, "I like the way _____ is sitting so nicely," could actually backfire and have a negative effect on behavior; it actually compares children to one another, and can promote competition, or set the child up for future failure. On the other hand, encouraging statements are non-judgmental, specific to the child, and reduces dependency on external motivation. What happens to "praise junkies" when they grow up?

  4. Hi Gary,
    You seem to have inspired an interesting conversation with your peers. The use of praise is always shared as a means of classroom management. As you consider your experiences, even in college, do you find yourself looking for praise? I am always intrigued by students who want to know how to please the professor in order to ensure an A. When I respond, what do you think? Or ask them to think on their own, I am often met with frustration and even disdain. Do these responses connect to the need for praise? Has praise wrecked people's means to think and make decisions?

    Also, I wonder how the text readings and quality readings might add to your discussion.


  5. I also like the info on giving too much praise to children. It really makes a lot of sense. I know that the same could also be true for adults, I know that if someone was always praising me and then said nothing, unintentionally, when I felt I deserved praise I would feel that what I did was not very good. Giving praise is definitely a good and beneficial thing. Every child is different and will take praise differently. I really believe in positive reinforcement rather than only pointing out the wrong that a child does. I think as educators/caregivers we must just be very aware of how we are doing it and how the child responds.

  6. Hey...
    I totally agree...yes when praise is given out to much all the children would want to hear is the praise. When they do their work, they would see or turn to the teacher to wait for them to reply. But yes, praise is better than criticism. You would just need to know when and to give it...

  7. Hi Gary,

    I am with you all the way! Like many of our peers, I too never really recognized the downfalls of too much praise! Last year, in a class that I took, there was an entire section devoted to how we should praise a child and if we should praise a child. Now, even with my own children - i step back to think "does this really deserve praise?" or am I just saying it to make sure that they feel good. Now, I make sure to ask questions that require conversation, like, "how did you do that?" or "what were you thinking about when you did that?" or even, "tell me more about this." I am a HUGE proponent of conversation with children - whether it be your own or not. But, if we are just praising children to praise them - yes, it will not mean so much after just a few times, and it does not spark any more conversation and thought from them.