Beyond 'Good Job': Scripts For Cultivating True Self-Confidence in Children

In today's parenting journey, the concept of praise is often surrounded by complexity and controversy. Dr. Becky, a clinical psychologist and mother of three, sheds light on this subject, emphasizing the significance of fostering an internal sense of self-worth and confidence in our children, beyond the realms of external validation. Here are the key takeaways from Dr. Becky's insights and how they relate to parenting with KidKartz.

Understanding the Impact of Praise

Praise, while seemingly beneficial, can sometimes lead children to seek validation from external sources rather than finding intrinsic satisfaction in their actions. Dr. Becky advocates for a shift in perspective—encouraging children to derive good feelings about themselves from within, thereby developing a stable sense of self and self-confidence.

The Role of KidKartz in Encouraging Self-Worth

Integrating KidKartz into this paradigm, we see a unique opportunity to teach children about self-evaluation and intrinsic motivation. As children navigate their miniature shopping experiences, they encounter moments of choice, effort, and accomplishment—all fertile ground for internal growth.

Encouraging Reflection Over Reaction

Instead of immediate praise for successfully navigating a shopping task, prompt children to reflect on their experience. Ask, "How did you decide which fruits to pick?" or "What made you choose this over that?" This encourages them to evaluate their actions and decisions, reinforcing their ability to assess and feel pride in their work independently.

Celebrating the Process, Not Just the Outcome

Highlight the effort and thought process involved in their KidKartz shopping journey, rather than just the end result. This aligns with Dr. Becky's emphasis on valuing internal attributes—like determination and creativity—over external achievements. We can notice the process with scripts like, "I noticed how carefully you're choosing the vegetables. What made you pick that one?" and "I'm proud of how you helped with shopping today. What part of the shopping did you enjoy the most?"

Building Confidence Through Autonomy

KidKartz offers children a sense of autonomy and responsibility, which are crucial for building self-confidence. Encourage them to plan a small shopping list or make decisions about what to buy for a family meal. This not only fosters independence but also shows trust in their capabilities, further strengthening their internal sense of worth. We can initiate the brain-storming with "I'm excited to see how you plan our shopping trip with your KidKartz today. What do you think we need to buy?" and "Let's think about what meals we want to have this week. How can you help us choose the right ingredients?"

Fostering a Mindset of Internal Validation

Use KidKartz as a tool to teach children about the joy and satisfaction of completing tasks for their own sake, not just for praise. This could be as simple as choosing items for a picnic or selecting a gift for a friend. The focus should be on the thoughtfulness of their choices and the pleasure derived from doing something kind for others. As parents, it's essential to recognize that sometimes, the most powerful acknowledgment isn't a "Good job!" but a heartfelt "Thank you." This simple expression of gratitude not only conveys appreciation for our children's efforts but also validates their contributions in a meaningful way, fostering a sense of value and belonging within them.

Creating Opportunities for Self-Discovery

KidKartz can be a conduit for self-discovery, allowing children to explore their preferences, make decisions, and face small challenges. Scripts like "We couldn’t find the exact thing we were looking for. What’s a good alternative we could try instead?" and "This item is a bit more expensive than we planned. Can you think of a way to stay within our budget?" are practical and engaging ways to involve children in problem-solving and decision-making processes. This exploration is essential in developing a well-rounded sense of self that is not solely dependent on external approval.


Dr. Becky's approach to rethinking praise provides a valuable framework for parenting. By incorporating tools like KidKartz, we can create practical applications of these concepts, helping children to develop a robust internal foundation of self-worth and confidence. Remember, the goal is not to eliminate praise but to use it judiciously, ensuring that our children learn to value and trust their inner voices above all.

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