In the past couple of weeks, I’ve attended a dance recital where my daughter kinda-sorta showed dancing skills, and baseball games where my son kinda-sorta showed baseball skills. My wife and I gave both kids effusive praise for their efforts. This leads me to wonder: Can you give kids too much praise?
On reflection, I think that’s a stupid question. But it keeps popping up in my head. Ideally, I want my kids to feel confident but not cocky. They should feel like they’re capable of performing at a high level, but also that there’s more to learn.
It’s one of those stupid mental chess games you wind up playing against yourself. There are a lot of moments where I feel like I overthink things as a parent, and this is one of them. It’s silly to give or withhold praise as though it’s a strategic reserve.