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13th Jun 2024

Should parents be high-fiving their children? Here’s what experts are saying

Niamh Ryan

A parenting columnist has recently informed parents to never give high-fives to their children.

According to the columnist at the Omaha World-Herald, giving high-fives to your children treats them as a peer and causes children to lose respect for their parents.

However, this claim is not backed by any significant research.

In fact, there is evidence that supports the idea that high-fiving kids as a way of showing praise increases a child’s self esteem and motivation.

Many studies have been done on the benefits of praising children.

In 2014 it was found that “using a gesture to praise your child increased motivation, persistence, and self-esteem more in children than when researchers praised their ability.”

For example, giving high-fives after a child gets a homework questions right rather than telling them “You’re so smart!”

Using this tactic reinforces good behaviour and and enhances social competence.

This parenting trick certainly works for younger children. However, it would be interesting to see how older children react over time with the same form of reward.

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