The Power Of Praising Your Kid’s Mind, Not Their Looks


Our kids are special to us. They have their own talents, style, and interests. It’s amazing to watch them grow!

Adults are definitely a bit jaded by the world and its emphasis on superficial values. Unfortunately, this can be directed towards kids. Rather than praising them for good behavior, kids are often praised for things that aren’t in their control: their looks.

Applauding children for things they have zero control over is a recipe for disaster. Children should be applauded for good behavior. Looks are not a behavior – they are physical traits, something we can’t exactly change.

As grown-ups, we know best that interactions from our youth tend to stay with us for the long haul. So, how we engage with kids really matters. 

We want to uplift our children and make them the best they can be! So, let’s get down to business about why you should be praising your kid’s minds, not their looks.

young girl looking in mirror

No One Can Control How they Look

Kids love rewards. By applauding kids for their looks, they start to believe that rewards come from looks alone. This sets kids up for major disappointment.

By praising kids for positive behavior, like doing their chores or scoring a goal on soccer, you reinforce how kids can control their own success. It makes kids excited to achieve more.

Remember: we are born with one body. Our physical appearance isn’t something we choose. Kids need to know that they aren’t defined by their looks, rather they are defined by how they behave.

Valuing Appearance Lowers Kids’ Self-Esteem

The way we engage with kids early on deeply affects their character development. If a child is merited for how pretty, cute, or handsome they look, that child will believe that looks and satisfaction have a direct relationship.

This can play out sorely as children get older. As we know, growing up isn’t easy. Kids are mean. And, puberty doesn’t make it any simpler.

Believing that looks are the most important can lessen confidence and self-esteem in kids. Their looks will hold priority over their inner character. 

We should praise kids’ accomplishments. Being born attractive isn’t one of them. Achieving goals, showing respect, and listening are!

little boy sad

Kids Will Compare Themselves to Others Early On

Seeking approval from our looks, as we know, dampens our self-esteem. But, one of the worst consequences is that it makes us constantly compare ourselves to others.

This is especially true in our social media-obsessed world. Kids have smartphones now. These give them access to an incredible amount of content.

Also, when a child believes good looks are what lead to praise, they will often compare themselves to others. With social media, these feelings are multiplied. Kids can see friends, family, and celebrities’ looks at any time of this day.

Kids don’t need the extra stress of comparisons. They should feel empowered by their own capabilities. When a child knows that their ability to play a sport or do their homework is an achievement, they will be less distracted by looks.

Remember: Kids Want to Learn – Embrace That!

Kids like to feel like they’ve done something right. Rewarding kids for their talents, behavior, and attitude gives them a solid understanding of what can lead them to success.

On the other hand, placing value on looks will never lead them to satisfaction. Instead, it will make kids a lot less happy. Like we said earlier, looks aren’t something we can ‘work on.’ 

Why? Well, if a child doesn’t feel like they ‘look’ good, they won’t enjoy things as much. They’ll be overwhelmed with frustration. This makes being a kid a lot harder. 

Kids want to learn. They want to enjoy the benefits of great behavior. As their mentors, we need to show them how great behavior brings great rewards. Above all, it will make kids much more confident.

Raising kids isn’t easy, especially in our hyper-digital world. To keep our kids happy and confident, praising their minds will reap the best rewards. As we all know, looks aren’t what matters most, no matter what age you are!

little boy playing chess

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