Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Negative Effects of Generic Praise/Labels

Someone on a positive discipline message board I belong to drew my attention to this 2007 article on the "inverse power of praise."

The article discusses and illustrates how overpraising and using labels and general qualities as praise rather than commenting positively on specific responses to specific situations can stifle kids willingness to take on challenges and projects that require effort.

As someone who was consistently praised for being smart, I can testify to this effect. As an adult, I have struggled with fear of failure and a "this is hard so I'll just quit now" mentality. I'm working on it.


  1. We try to say

    "You did a good job on this ....."

    "That didn't work out so well. let's try better next time"

    I always try to remind my kids that there is always a next time.

  2. I need to share all this with Rick. He's a "good job!" kind of dad.

    I gave you an award on my blog. You can check it out if you'd like. :)


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