Overpraising children is under attack, which is interesting because almost exactly a year ago, one mother’s philosophy of withholding praise was receiving the same treatment.
Yesterday, The Post’s Michael Alison Chandler wrote about a trend in which teachers refrain from showering kids with “Good try!” at every turn. Studies show that easy, unearned praise interferes with students’ learning.
“A growing body of research over three decades shows that easy, unearned praise does not help students but instead interferes with significant learning opportunities. As schools ratchet up academic standards for all students, new buzzwords are ‘persistence,’ ‘risk-taking’ and ‘resilience’ — each implying more sweat and strain than fuzzy, warm feelings,” Chandler writes.
Wrong! This has nothing to do with "unearned praise" and teaching them a more meaningful reward system (market thinking is always contaminating American thinking). We do not want to overpraise children because they are uninteresting, and excessive praise may lead them to think they are what they are certainly not: interesting. Children don't know anything interesting and so they bore us to tears when they're much too talkative. It's fine for them to talk among themselves, but when in the presence of adults, they must know they are not in our league, that what comes out of their mouth is to us as tasteless as a carrot.
There is, in short, no such thing as "earned praise" when it comes to a child. A child is a dry loss, which is why it's better to see the family as a form of communism. At the end of childhood, a person must rate his/her family not by how much praise or rewards they received but by the quality of the communism.