How Not to Praise Students

How Not to Praise Students

Most parents and teachers have a habit of praising students for small things. Although it is good to encourage and motivate them sometimes it proves an opposite effect on the child. It can make a child overconfident, superior to everyone, egoistic, and would also show lack of interest in studies. It is extremely significant for teachers and parents to find the correct balance, that is when and where to praise and how much to praise and on which situations. Also you should take care that you don’t de-motivate or discourage children. Just find the correct way of praising them at proper timing; don’t over or under-do it and keep the perfect balance.

Sometimes over praising leads to pampering of the child which is extremely bad. It leads to changes in a child’s behavior and the child shows traits like arrogance, ego and rude behavior. Parents should understand all these points properly and work on it. Also when teachers praise a student for couple of times it brings a feeling of superiority complexion in the student. Many a times they think that now they have all the knowledge and there is no need to study and their performance dips down. They get extremely low grades as compared to previous results. So the teachers also need to understand child psychology and try to praise students only when required.

Ways to not to praise students

  • Never praise students for their personal gain. It is the situation where a teacher praises a student for the purpose of placating or subduing his or her behavior. We see this all day, over and over again with difficult students. This is done proactively and dishonestly. This makes the students feel that what they are doing is right and no one is going to tell them to stop. A feeling of superiority will rise and their behavior will be worsen.

  • A teacher praises a student to manipulate. This typeof praise is done to manipulate an entire group of students into asubmissive behavior. The teacher will choose one student to praise with the hope that it will cause others to do the same. This is wrong as a teacher is deliberately praising a student without any sufficient reason. This will make an impression in a student’s mind that it is alright to perform a wrong thing in order to control everyone.

  • Some teachers praise students out of obligation. Most teachers have been told time and again that they can’t praise students too much. So they let students have it every chance they get. On seeing behavior that is not poor they start praising them. Teachers think that it is what good teachers do. Due to all this the true gems which are really worth of praise, that have done immense good work goes beneath their noses unnoticed or without being praised. This can demoralize a student who has done good work and also can discourage it to do the good work in future.

  • The problem with over praising or false praise is it lowers the standard of what is good. It gives students an inflated sense of their own abilities. It gives a wrong message that fulfilling a minimum or regular task is extremely special and praise worthy. It places a person which has done extraordinary work with the person which gets praised on every small thing. Praise must always be real and from the heart to encourage students and to motivate them to do something special.

A teacher or any other person should praise to mean something, to help change the behavior of a child in a positive way, inspire excellence, and to help the child dream big. It must be a moment in time, a recognition for an achievement, a celebration of a step beyond where your students were before. It is important to differentiate between people who are consistent and people who rise from below and perform well. A teacher should praise students who apply effort. If a student gets more marks than before with purely effort and hard work, the teacher should praise that child. Praising students for no reason or for wrong reasons make a significant change in child’s thinking and behavior. So a teacher should think wisely before praising students.


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