For What Do Parents Praise Their Kids?

The best way to make a better world is to praise kids for what really counts: being good.

When parents boast about their children with other people, what do usually say first? Is it how nice they are to strangers? Or how much volunteering they did last year? More often, they talk about their good grades in school, or the prestigious college they went to, or the much sought after summer internship they are on. But this is backwards. Acts of kindness are what parents should talk about with others, and what they should really praise their kids for.

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Comments (7)

(7) MIriam, May 25, 2014 2:08 AM


This is absolutely incredible. There is hope for the world! THANK YOU!

(6) Simcha, May 21, 2014 12:05 PM

In response!!!

Rabbi Telushkin explained this beautifully!!! All parents and educators should follow in this path but unfortunately many parents and educators need to be educated themselves. I myself am an educator and the path I have always taken is to compliment children for all of their positive attributes and to help them in a positive way with their negative attributes NEVER putting them down but making them feel good about themselves.

(5) Anonymous, May 21, 2014 12:58 AM


beautiful and to the point!!!

(4) Anonymous, May 21, 2014 12:40 AM

Sign me up

(3) JOhn H, May 20, 2014 8:11 PM

Praise delivered to build self esteem

Saying to your child, "I am proud of you Johnny." vs "IYou should be proud of yourself Johnny." One builds the child and allows them to own their self esteem, the other makes the child dependent on their parent for their own self esteem.

(2) Nancy, May 20, 2014 4:42 PM

My young adult son has high functioning autism. He is quite intelligent and insightful. He is also very modest. However, I recently told him that he has a good neshama and I explained what I meant. His face lit up! I believe I have raised a mensch. With that said, I know my son has had and will continue to have struggles which relate to his diagnosis. Life isn't easy for people on the autism spectrum, but I would take 1000 versions of my child over a dishonest and unethical neurotypical individual! Rabbi Telushkin--It was nice to "meet" you!

(1) Alan S., May 19, 2014 10:19 AM

Incredible video! Rabbi Telushkin sends a strong message.

What an awe-inspiring video. When one compares what Rabbi Telushkin says to the popular "Tiger mom' concept, or to parents that strap their children with bombs to make them martyrs and then name streets after them, or to parents that start fights at their children's sporting events encouraging them to win at all costs -- well, compare the calm words of the Rabbi to the message that these derelict parents are sending, and it is no wonder that the world seems to be a messed up place.


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