encouragement vs. praise

Kevin Leman, When Your Best Is Not Good Enough, 1988

Encouragement comes when you center on your child’s efforts, telling him that he has done well, that he has improved, or that you are pleased with the progress he has made.  Praise differs from this in that it centers…on the child’s worthiness….

The difference between the two responses is slight, but there is a vast difference between the messages received.  Praising suggests that your approval of your child is based on his performance….

Encouragement is aimed at creating growth in your children, whereas praise can actually stifle your child’s growth and help make him into a defeated perfectionist who thinks that he is not worthy of love and respect unless he does things exceptionally well.


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