|Source: Tim Coulson|
The Herald Sun today has published an article claiming we need to STOP praising our kids to prevent them from turning into insecure little narcissists that torment other kids who might otherwise compete for their praise.
Our kids need our support and encouragement. They need positive communication from us. They just don't need it in the form of praise.
In a nutshell the research suggests that praising kids makes them feel super important, super confident, and over-entitled. They have an inflated sense of self-esteem because of the positive verbal feedback, the 'good jobs' and 'you're awesomes' that we are giving them. This view of themselves breeds narcissism and reduces empathy for others. Then, when they feel threatened, they become bullies. Or when they feel they need to prove they're as good as they've been praised for being, they become bullies.
And I ended up on national television to explain what these findings mean, and what parents are supposed to do about it (video link here - just ffwd to 10.55 - and no, unfortunately you can't skip the ads).
Research debunking the myth of praise as useful has been published since the 1970's. So not only does praise (when used poorly and combined with a lack of self-respect and empathy) lead to a greater likelihood that a child may be a bully, but it also has a truckload of other baggage. Here is a handful of other problems with praise: