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Raising a praise junkie? Here are 5 ways to help them trust their own choices

Here are some parenting strategies for raising a praise junkie.

In the modern age of parenting, the significance of positive reinforcement and validation is frequently emphasized. However, too much praise can lead to children becoming overly reliant on external validation, transforming them into “praise junkies.”

Studio 5 Parenting Contributor Heather Johnson shares how to raise children who are intrinsically motivated, possessing a strong inner voice and self-confidence.

To contact Heather for counseling, email blog.familyvolley@gmail.com, or visit www.familyvolley.blogspot.com.


How to Raise a Praise Junkie

The Pitfalls of Excessive Praise

Heather highlights the problem of swinging too far towards constant validation. While validation and praise are essential, excessive praise can hinder a child’s ability to make decisions and trust their choices. Children who constantly seek approval, whether about their appearance, choices, or decisions, might be displaying signs of becoming praise junkies.

Recognizing a Praise Junkie

One clear sign, as Heather points out, is when children consistently seek approval for every decision they make. To counter this, she suggests fostering intrinsic motivation, building a child’s inner voice, and teaching them to manage the narrative in their heads positively.

Breaking Free from the Praise Trap

Heather introduces the concept of the three S’s: sparingly, specifically, and sincerely. Praise should be given sparingly, avoiding vague and insincere affirmations. Being specific about what is being praised helps children understand their abilities and qualities better.

Understanding the True Needs

Heather emphasizes the importance of understanding that what children seek is not merely attention but connection. By staying curious about their needs and desires, parents can provide the necessary emotional support, ensuring their children grow up with a healthy sense of self-worth and independence.

Parenting is about balance. While validation and praise are crucial, it’s equally important to nurture intrinsic motivation and self-confidence. By avoiding excessive praise, fostering patience, and understanding the true needs of our children, we can raise confident, independent, and intrinsically motivated individuals ready to face the challenges of the world.

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