I don’t think praise has to be effusive. A little, meaningfully said when a struggle is attempted, can be uplifting, encouraging and helpful. When a child is struggling to do something and fails, “nice try” becomes as important as a success. It encourages the little one to indeed try again, not give up.
Praise to a teen on an essay that was complicated and difficult is equally important.
And for adults, well, we often shrug praise off as unimportant and being of no value. But is it? Do we not feel just a little brighter happier acknowledged? Of course we do. And so we should.
Acknowledgement of a struggle overcome, a job well done, by someone we value is monumental. Days weeks months can go by even years, without a single acknowledgement by those we love and whose opinion matters. Writers know this all too well. Whether you write for pleasure or as an accomplished author, it means something when someone says, well done, I really liked how….and are specific about what appeals or speaks to the reader’s heart.
So yes, there is most definitely a place for praise, delivered from the heart.