While it is necessary to be generous in praising one's children for their achievements, one must be careful not to be excessive in one's praise. Not praising a child at all will be disappointing to the child, but this is not in evidence much these days. These days, we are too ready with our praise. But sometimes, when we praise our children too much, it only keeps them from being ambitious and aiming for greater things in life, said Suki Sivam.

The Sanskrit poet Bharavi was acknowledged as a genius by everyone. His poems earned for him everyone's admiration, but Bharavi was not happy. His father never praised Bharavi, and to Bharavi this was the biggest disappointment of his life. He yearned for his father's praise and encouragement but, try as he might, he never seemed to be able to impress his father. The frustration turned to anger and the anger turned to rage. Bharavi felt he had to take revenge on his father for his attitude of not praising his son. He went to the extreme of deciding to kill his father!

As his father and mother sat conversing, Bharavi slowly made his way towards them, sword in hand. As he lifted his sword, it struck a manuscript tucked away in the tiles on the ceiling. A piece of the manuscript tore off, and the piece fell on Bharavi. He picked it up to see what was written on it. The manuscript said: “Before you do anything, think a hundred times.”

Bharavi then listened to the conversation between his parents. His mother was asking her husband why he never praised their son. The father replied that there was no one to equal their son Bharavi in terms of poetic genius.

But he knew that Bharavi was capable of much more. If he praised Bharavi, the latter would rest on his laurels, and the father didn't want that to happen. So his holding back praise was for his son's good. Upon hearing his father's words, Bharavi was ashamed of his own conduct. He had been so angry that he had become vengeful and had been about to commit parricide! He told his father what he had been about to do and sought his forgiveness. Sometimes, it is necessary to withhold praise to make people realise their full potential.