There’s a difference between praise and encouragement. One rewards the task while the other rewards the person (“You did it!” rather than “I’m proud of you!”).
Praise can make a child feel that she’s only “good” if she does something perfectly. Encouragement, on the other hand, acknowledges the effort.
“Tell me about your game. I see that you scored” is more helpful than saying, “Your team won that is great.” Too much praise can sap self-esteem because it can create pressure to perform and set up a continual need for approval from others. So dole out the praise judiciously and offer encouragement liberally; it will help your child grow up to feel good about herself.
Source: Andrea Ralls, www.southwoods.com