For many parents, praising their children is a natural response to their participation and effort. Many of us grew up receiving praise from our own parents. However, research suggests that too much praise can lead to a child feeling emotionally dependent on others for their own self-value. Here are thoughts about what separates encouragement vs. praise.
Here’s the difference between praising children and encouraging them:
“When you praise students, you put the spotlight on the student and when you walk away, you take the spotlight with you. When you encourage students, your words go much deeper and hopefully stir up internal motivation that is long-lasting,” Jenny Spencer, the author of Positive Discipline®, an online learning resource for parents, teachers, and parent educators, says.
Those who are praised as kids may always need someone to tell them ‘nice try.’ But, going forward, praise can become problematic because it does not offer specifics or an internal look at how one becomes better.
Thus, encouragement is seen as a stronger behavioral tool because it says, ‘I notice that you like converting division into percentages. Here’s a new way to help you going forward”.
Bolstered with cues towards adaptive self-evaluation: ‘Specifically, what can I do to get better?’
one can build a child’s lifelong self-motivation: I can and am getting better every day by doing this and this. There’s no dependence on others to feel good about personal effort—or lack of effort.
Whether academically, athletically, emotionally or socially, the core benefit of encouragement is building self-reliance by learning new, specific ways to master tasks.
By contract, a key negative impact of praise is long-term reliance for validation from others rather than oneself.
Dr. Maria Montessori’s 115 year-old strategic and tactical methodology focuses on how to build independent, self-assured young people via individualized learning starting as early as a child’s eighteenth month.
At La Jolla Montessori School, Dr. Montessori’s teachings are followed-thru every day: students work at their own pace while being given acceptance to follow their passions.
In the balance, they learn self-trust, self-assurance, self-confidence and a love for learning.
Compare our independent, private Preschool thru Kindergarten programs with today’s traditional school Wikipedia world of memorization, groupthink and standardization.
Then, consider how The Montessori Edge can help you tackle encouragement vs praise by focusing on building internal validation via encouragement rather than dependency based on external feedback through praise.
Looking to take a tour? Book a time with our Director today: https://lajollamontessorischool.com/book-a-tour/.