Human beings love Praise. It validates us, it gives us some kind of confidence, it makes us feel good about ourselves. It strokes and buffers our ego. We can tell the effects of praise on a little child. Children are just sweet.  They are natural and open when it comes to expressing their satisfaction with something or someone. If praise can give confidence, it can also give a good amount of false confidence. Praise like this can be tantamount to flattery.


Sometimes, we praise our children wrongly thereby contributing to a false sense of confidence and self-esteem.


For example, your child finishes a game and his team loses or maybe they could have played better and you say ‘Well done darling, that was absolutely fantastic. It is the best game you have ever played’.

No! it wasn’t. Even the child knows it was not the best game he has ever played. It does not help anyone, most especially the child, get the right information about what he/she has done. It would make the child dependent on this kind of praise as he grows and develops his or her esteem. A lot of times we do this in a bid not make the child feel bad.

If that Child did well at passing the ball to his team-mates, you praise him for that. This means that you have noticed what he really did well and you are commending him for it. This kind of commendation is descriptive.  Instead of just generally saying, well done, you need to mention what the Child actually did when you give such commendation. I am being reminded of this constantly.

Before we can give this kind of commendation, we must Identify. In other words, we need to make a conscious effort to observe what our children do right and commend them for it. Pay close attention to the right things you can praise.

Even the smallest things they do, when done well deserve commendation. Such as saying sorry, asking politely, clearing a plate and picking up a shoe.

Take a minute or two to list 5 things your child does right and when next he/she does that, make it a point of duty to commend him or her properly for it.

I would love to read your comments.

Much Love,


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p.s-  My book In It to Win is still available. Please get a copy here.

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Joy is a Parenting Leadership Coach. She is a mother to three children.  She runs, a community where she helps Christian parents develop key leadership capabilities as well as clear paths to all-around excellence for their children through intentional, transformational Parenting.

She enjoys teaching and mentoring, writing, singing, research, and travelling.

Joy is also an author. Copies of her book " DISCOVER TO GROW"can found here

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This post has 13 Comments

    1. Hi Fola, thank you for leaving a comment. Sometimes, giving descriptive praise seems to take longer than general ones. I guess we just need to keep at it.

  1. I agree with you very much. I always try to be specific when commending my daughter. E.g thank you for bringing your sister’s nappy so quickly. And she always responds with you are welcome mummy. She’s 2.5. Specific /descriptive praise is better

  2. Thank you Joy for this post. I personally believe it is important to praise a child as and when necessary and correctly too, this helps the child to understand his or her weakness/shortcomings and improve on it. May God teach us to do it right. Thanks again.

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