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Praising kids too much can harm them

india Updated: Oct 24, 2009 14:39 IST

ParentingToo much praise could lead to performance anxiety and sap motivation in kids, warns expert.

While talking about a US study, author, TV producer and educator Dr Patricia Edgar said, "Smart kids have been told so often how great they are, they may see all peers as rivals, often lie about their test scores and actually perform less well the more praise they get for being smart. In contrast, when they are praised for the process - how they tackle a maths problem rather than whether or not they get it right and for trying, for the effort put into a task, their performance improves."

"Kids have a pretty good in-built crap detector," Edgar wrote in Shine, a monthly publication of Victoria's Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

"They know when praise is false and when praise given is not warranted and it's pretty scary having to be the best all the time," she added.

The expert added that there is too much emphasis on winning, so if children don't win they give up, reports The Daily Telegraph.

"Parents should praise children for doing their best. The research is clear that those children who are rewarded for doing their best will continue to strive to improve,” she said.