A child cultivates their sense of self, navigates the world, and understands their abilities and limitations by considering the feedback they get from others and their environment. While parents cannot control every message a child receives throughout their day, parents CAN be aware of the types of messages, both direct and indirect, that they communicate to their child.
Think of praise as a form of feedback that a child can use as data to work through understanding their abilities and their areas of growth. Praise, in conjunction with constructive feedback, can be used to communicate and teach to children that mistakes are a part of learning and that there is not something wrong with them. That is, the way that a parent formulates praise and/or constructive feedback can contribute to affirming their child’s experience, helping them when they feel discouraged, as well as boosting their self esteem by making them feel safe and supported to take on a challenging task. Additionally, when done effectively, praise contributes to a child’s ability to assess and monitor their own behaviors and abilities.