Validating commending and celebrating accomplishments

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If praise is sincere and genuine and focused on the effort not the outcome, you can give it as often as your child does something that warrants a verbal reward."We should especially recognize our children's efforts to push themselves and work hard to achieve a goal," says Donahue, author of Parenting Without Fear: Letting Go of Worry and Focusing on What Really Matters."There is something about praising your child constantly that is belittling," Berman says."There's an underlying message that the child has to get his parent's approval all the time and constantly look to the parent for validation." Still, don't go too far in the other direction.

Jenn Berman, Ph D, a marriage and family therapist and author of The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy and Confident Kids, says, "We are becoming praise junkies as parents.

"Parents and grandparents are, of course, going to indulge in some of this, and that is OK.

But if your kids hear a constant litany of praise, it will begin to sound empty to them and have little meaning." Say it when you mean it.

"Somehow, parents have come to believe that by praising their kids they improve their self-esteem," Paul Donahue, Ph D, founder and director of Child Development Associates, says.

"Though well-intentioned, putting kids on a pedestal at an early age can actually hinder their growth." Too much praise can backfire, it seems, and, when given in a way that's insincere, make kids afraid to try new things or take a risk for fear of not being able to stay on top where their parent's praise has put them.

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