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Am I Praising Too Much?


by Rachel Faulkner Brown


Y’all…I’m outta control on praising my kids!

It sounds nuts, but it is a problem!

Brushing their teeth has become a chance for me to admonish my amazement at their accomplishment!

A forward roll is like winning the gold!

Pouring their own chocolate almond milk without spilling it is like walking across the Grand Canyon!

What in the world has happened to me????? 

My husband has noticed my ‘large and lavish praise’ and has expressed concerns, but seriously I can’t see it because I am inside the jar trying to read the label? Do you get it? I can’t hear what I am doing!

I have discovered that praise is not wrong, but I am addicted to giving it and my kids are addicted to receiving it. 

Tim Elmore points out that we are praising the wrong things in his book 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid. Instead of praising fixed traits and qualities, Tim suggests we affirm effort and behavior, which are in their control!‘ In other words, be intentional about praising virtue and effort! 

We live in a culture where we think telling our kids that they are smart is crucial to their future..so we think? The research is clear..it is not. Praising them for the process and their effort in that accomplishment is what truly leads to self-esteem.

Virtue and character should be the focus of my praise.

Campbell, you were so joyful when I asked you to clean the kitchen.

Davis, you worked so hard to bring those chairs in from our party last night!

I loved how grateful you were at your birthday party.

Your patience in the airport was so helpful to me.

I feel like my praise will look different forever from what I have recently discovered. I was actually writing those quoted sentences looking at ‘In this House We Will Giggle’ as my guide! As we focus on FORGIVENESS this month, let’s watch the impact on our kids as they practice “erasing a wrong with love.” Look for compassion and tender moments – not just quick apologies.

We are entrusted with so much as we raise these kids.



Photography by Paige Knudsen

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  1. I am that mom. I am a praise-a-holic. BUT…then there are days that God gives me a glimpse. A front row seat to all of the character building I have been doing with my littles. I had one recently and I cry every. single. time. I talk about it. My eight year old daughter showed me that my time spent teaching them how to have godly character…has been effective. It shows through when it counts MOST. I’d love for you to read…and be encouraged…that effective praising and molding is worth it. Look for their expressions of those character traits…because you will see the heart of Christ living in your child…and it will melt you. <3

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