Praising Kids: Why Saying "Good Job" Isn't Always Such a Good Idea by Rae Pica

4 years ago
Praising Kids: Why Saying "Good Job" Isn't Always Such a Good Idea

Everywhere there’s a mix of adults and children I hear "Good job!" being said to the kids. While it may seem harmless, trying to bestow self-esteem through constant praise doesn’t prepare children for the real world.

Hearing “good job” the first few times may make a child feel good. But the feeling is temporary. And someone is eventually going to critique or criticize. Instead of saying "good job," a teacher or employer is going to hand back a heavily red-penciled report and demand to know what she was thinking. Blue ribbons will not be awarded just because she walked through the classroom or office door. And no one is going to say “good job” unless she’s actually done one. And even then, she might not hear it. But the child who has come to expect extrinsic reward – who has become convinced that everything she does is worthy of praise – will be the adolescent or adult who can’t handle life’s realities.

The late Dr. Stanley Greenspan said, “If you drown a child in praise, nothing has meaning.”

If you want to offer your child feedback, describe, don't judge. "That jump was really high" or "I see you used a lot of purple" is going to give your child information he can use!

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Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
Helpful insight, Rae Pica ! You are so right!
Rae Pica
Thanks, Elisa! It's a really hard habit to change (I know from personal experience!), but it's so worth it!

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