This is from "10 ways to build your child's self-esteem"
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 he's only "good" if he does something perfectly.
Encouragement, on the other hand, acknowledges the effort.
"Tell me about your drawing. I see that you like purple" is more helpful than saying, "That's the most beautiful picture I've ever seen."
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 himself.
I don't know what I think about this nifty little article. I want to roll my eyes at the "self-esteem building" ideas everyone loves, yet I know drowning a child in superlatives is hardly beneficial either. I guess I've not had to give it much thought yet.... I remember hearing a young dad praising his son for every bite the youngster ate (he was just learning to self feed). It seemed like excessive praise at the time, but with the retrospection of having my own two year old, maybe it was just much needed positive reinforcement! :-D