"Empty" praise could do your child more harm than good, says researchers

A new study has found that parents who give their children "empty" praise could be damaging them psychologically, reports habermonitor.com.

Researchers from Columbia University said that phrases such as "well done darling" and "you're so clever" could damage children's confidence and hinder future performance at school.

The researchers made the conclusions after conducting an experiment which involved 128 schoolchildren aged ten and 11. The pupils were split into two groups, and were each given a maths problem.

Afterwards, one group was told "You did really well - you're so clever", whereas the other group were told "You did really well - you must have tried really hard."

Each group was then given a second set of questions that were even more difficult. Results showed that the group who were told they were clever performed worse than the other group and even tried to lie about their results to researchers."

One of the researchers, Stephen Grosz, told dailymail.co.uk: "Empty praise is as bad as thoughtless criticism - it expresses indifference to the child's feelings and thoughts."

Those who suffer from confidence issues that they feel greatly affects their everyday life may want to consider counselling courses, which could help alleviate the issue.

Mr Grosz has now also written a book on human behaviour, entitled 'The Examined Life' which will mention the research.