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How your praise and criticisms can harm your child’s self-esteem.

Are you the kind of parent who is a fabulous cheerleader for your child? Are you the first one to say: 

Praise and criticsm
  • “You’re amazing”

  • “What a great job you did” (regardless of whether they did or didn’t!) 

  • “You are the best/smartest/most sporty/talented kid ever”

And have you noticed that your child has come to expect and even become reliant on you and others giving them praise? Some people refer to children today as “praise junky’s” as in many aspects of their life – even with the games they play on technology – they are getting external praise and rewards.


And, if you’re like most parents, when you’re angry or frustrated with your child you might criticise them with comments like: 


  • “What’s the matter with you? How many times do I have to say the same thing? Will you ever learn to just listen?”

  • “Stop being so selfish. You’re not the most important person on the planet! Can’t you see I’m busy? Instead of being lazy, demanding and complaining about everything why don’t you offer to help and be useful for once?”


Perhaps you’re hearing words that were said to you as a child and now they ring true as a parent? And as you can imagine negative comments can really harm your child’ self-worth as a small child which can go on through the teen years.


Perhaps you’re raising a teenager and you’ve seen that what their friends think and say means EVERYTHING and can either boost or deflate how your child feels about themselves. 

Are you beginning to understand what a vulnerable position relying on outside praise or criticism for self-worth puts your child in? It puts children at the mercy of other people’s opinions about them and their work, and we all know how critical people can be.



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