24 things we need to stop praising kids for, immediately.

I suppose reward charts are out then.

I want you to think about something very important. When was the last time you praised your kids for something? It was seven seconds before you started reading this article, wasn’t it? Don’t worry, it’s not your fault. We are a generation of parental over-praises. We’ve been trained to be this way.

“Good girl, Caterina!”

“Nice job, Giovanni!”

“You are the best drawer in the whole entire world, Philip!”

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

A study by the University of Netherlands has concluded that telling children they are more special than others leaves them feeling entitled and superior. I know, whoops. But it’s not really our fault. Unfortunately we’ve taken this whole ‘positive reinforcement’ thing and run with it a little too hard.

“You’re the most special girl in the whole wide world.”

“You are the best little boy ever.”

Veruca Salt gave all child-narcissists a bad name.

Finally, someone is calling 'bullshit' on the exhausting requirement that we praise, praise, praise our kids for everything single thing they do and say. We are turning them into narcissists. For those who don't quite understand what a narcissist is, it's bad. Narcissists are cocky, manipulative, selfish and vain.

We did an urgent brainstorm here at iVillage Australia. We've all be over-praising our kids.

Here are 24 things to stop praising children for IMMEDIATELY, because narcissists don't make for easy teenagers:


1. Flushing the toilet.

2. Picking up leaves and giving them to us as gifts.

3. Saying 'please' and thankyou'.

4. Drawing a picture that is just lines.

You can praise your kids a little, just don't make them feel superior.

5. Cleaning up.

6. Doing chores.

7. Getting dressed.

8. Not falling down the gap when they get off the train.

9. Not dying on escalators.

10. Sharing.

11. Taking turns.

12. Writing notes like this...

This letter courtesy of our lovely ex-teacher in residence, Valentina.

13. Doing up their seat belts.

14. Sleeping through the night.

15. Brushing their teeth.

16. Wiping their bottoms.

17. Helping you open a present that is for you, not for them.

Some kids just don't stand a chance.

18. Blowing out birthday candles.

19. Putting dirty clothes in the laundry basket.

20. Doing a poop.

21. Not falling over while walking.

22. Cleaning their room.

23. Finishing their food.


24. Drinking water.

Don't worry, it's not too late to ensure our children don't turn into versions of these famous narcissists. Here are some of the most famous narcissists from history, and today.

Want more? Try:

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