How to Praise Your Children Equally?

How to Praise Your Children Equally?
María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

It can be tricky to praise your children equally. Although it isn’t particularly difficult, it does require attention, tact and wisdom.

Compliments have the power to build a child’s self-esteem. Praise, however, should not be handed out without merit.

Too many compliments can be bad for a child’s ego. It can create superiority complexes, promote jealousy and other harmful attitudes.

Find effective ways to praise your children in order to help them develop their self-esteem. If done correctly, it won’t lead to resentment among siblings.

All children are different. Parents who have more than one child understand this reality. Your children, despite the fact that they were raised with the same values, go on to develop different skills and different personalities.

It’s important to be balanced when praising one or the other for whatever the reason may be. Surely, no healthy parents deliberately seek to have their compliment to one child harm the other.

However, sometimes this occurs unintentionally. Sometimes parents may hurt a child’s feelings by praising their sibling in front of them.

According to Mark Griffin, founder and former director of the Eagle Hill School in the United States, children don’t count the amount of praises their siblings receive every day or every week. However, what they do notice is the sincerity of the praise that they themselves receive from others.

How to praise your children?

  1. Praise their effort

One of the best tools to use to praise one of your children without making the others feel bad is by giving all of them praise for their efforts rather than their achievements.

It has been proven that children who receive praise for their effort learn to see success as a result of their constant hard work.

If we praise the effort that our children put into a task rather than the results, it will teach them about the value of perseverance. It will also teach them about important aspects such as disciple and organization.

This will also help them adopt a better attitude when it comes to making decisions.

  1. Praise moderately

If you want to praise one of your children in particular, you can take them aside for a few minutes in order to do so. This way you’ll be able to avoid quarrels and jealousy.

On the other hand, if you notice that the child that you praise runs to boast to their siblings with the aim of inciting jealousy, this attitude should be corrected immediately. This sort of behavior is unhealthy.

  1. Be sincere and tactful

Avoid exaggerating your tone or degree of enthusiasm when praising one of your children. Try to keep calm and maintain a relaxed posture.

Lying to a child isn’t an easy task. They will be able to notice when you’re exaggerating or every time you praise them for something that isn’t really impressive.

It has been proven that children who receive praise for their effort learn to see success as a result of their constant hard work.

Exaggerating praise towards a particular child can make others who have difficulty completing the specific task feel bad.

In these cases, if your praise isn’t sincere, you’ll find yourself in a difficult situation. It will be difficult for you to give an honest compliment while one of them is struggling in an area that the other is excelling in.

Children listening equally

Focus on praising the effort, perseverance and determination that they show while advancing in tasks even when they have difficulties.

Make them understand that advancing towards their goal is as important as reaching it.

  1. Encourage teamwork

Another way to praise all of your children equally and intelligently is to motivate all of them to work as a team. Each and every one of them should make their specific skills available to the group.

When they finish their tasks, you can give them as many compliments as you want. Praise them when you see that they’re enjoying what they’re doing while working as a team.

Try to praise the way they treat themselves. You can even praise them for the smallest acts of kindness that you observe while they’re working as a team.

  1. They all have skills

Focusing on the skills and abilities of all of your children is a great way to achieve a positive work environment. This will make them feel good, therefore you’ll be able to praise a child without making the other feel bad.

Praising a child correctly is an art that parents need to master. This is even more important when they have more than one child.

One of the keys is to praise them sincerely for their effort. Never compare them to one and other.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.