I'm still conflicted about praising or accidentally over praising kids. There's an interesting article in Psychology Today about the subject, I don't know if I agree with everything this author says, but it is a conversation starter. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-prime/200909/parenting-dont-praise-your-children/comments#comment-554205
I do know one of my children thrives on appropriate praise, one doesn't care, and one hates it. The youngest, 13 years old (my little one, with Aspergers) hates being praised in any form. "Moo-ooommmmm! Okay!" It makes her uncomfortable and it doesn't give her the impetus to do anything at all. My middle one, she loves it. She's in Graduate School and has said she still wishes her professors would put stickers on her papers. She gets a "good idea" or "excellent point!" on a paper and she's walking on air for days. In fact, she had a 504 Plan for ADD inattentive type, when she was a child and one of the accommodations were that the teacher had to offer at least some praise for her hard work. (She had a teacher in 4th grade who didn't believe in praise or stickers or anything, so we had to kind of insist on it for this child to do well and keep trying, she struggled in her grade school years, and needed different methods than my other children to learn properly.)
That being said, some people over do it. My mother fairly oozes forced praise and says, "OMG! THAT'S WONDERFUL!" for even the least effortless activities my kids offer. I've had to actually ask her to tone it down as even my middle child even tunes it out.
I was in the library once with my middle daughter, who was about 12 or so and and she dropped something and then picked it up. A mother of very young children looked at me motioning. I had no idea what she was motioning for. I shrugged. She looked me right in the eye and said, "Say 'GOOD JOB' to your daughter!" Seriously? She picked a piece of paper that she dropped off the floor. Not really what I would consider a "good job" behavior.
What are your thoughts?