Praising Kids & Self Esteem

I’d like to talk to you about how best to praise your kids and teens.

You are probably all thinking that your teens dismiss your praise anyway so why bother to compliment them at all? The truth is that they do hear what you are saying to them but that it is just not cool for teens to receive praise from their parents. Don’t ask me why. Just let me tell you that it’s just another teen behavioral style. I would like to suggest that you focus on praising their efforts rather than their personal characteristics.

Some examples of this include saying:

1. “You put that outfit together beautifully” rather than “You are beautiful.”
2. “You studied hard for that test” rather than “You are just so smart.”
or even
3. “I love to watch how happy you are when you paint” rather than “You are a fabulous artist.”

According to a study by Eddie Brummelman, MS, of Utrecht University in the Netherlands this sort of praise for effort is the way to go. We want our kids, as these researchers suggest to see their disappointments as temporary events that do not reveal a character flaw.