Thank you, this is a much-needed message for parents and grandparents. I think of it this way: harmful praise is praise that invokes comparisons with others, or that accentuates factors beyond the control of a child, such as talents or gifts or luck. This leads to pride. On the other hand, praise that recognizes effort and wise choices can help a child focus on those things he or she can control. It isn't the gifts we've been given that are praiseworthy, it's making good choices and using our gifts in ways that benefit others.
Maurine....15 years ago as a Bishop at BYU I experienced what this article is talking about....several of my students had this superiority complex to the point that it really hurt them....growing up they had been told how great and wonderful they were to the point that they believed it. The shock to their nervous system was when they had to compete against other smart and talented kids and they found themselves not making the cut. I had to in a nice way explain to them that there are always people that are smarter, more good looking and more talented than us....that usually is the reality. However, we don't need to be the best.....we only need to do our best in whatever we set out to do. The other shocker to some of these young people was that they had never really had their parents say "NO".... we don't do that! They would come into me and try to explain how their actions were acceptable or they were the exception to the rule. Its' hard to grow up, but I have learned that when we sugar coat things to kids or don't tell them the way things really are....we are doing them a disservice. I imagine to many that seems old school....but I never left any doubt with my young ward members about what was expected.....they might not have always liked that....but I think they respected it!
Yes! God commanded us to love our children but not to judge them--either positively or negatively. We can appreciate and encourage without judging. Thank you, Maurine.
I'm having trouble wrapping my arms around this point, based on the opinion of one psychologist. I know that it may take many studies by many psychologists to pin down the real reasons people do things.
Here's MY opinion of what may explain whatever studies Dr. Dweck conducted in order to reach her conclusions. I don't think it matters so much whether the praise is "fixed" or "growth" oriented. That makes no sense to me. I think the real problem is in giving insincere, inflated praise. To generalize from one achievement that "you're so smart," or to tell a child "are you the next Picasso or what?" in my opinion isn't a mistake because it is "fixed," but because it is an exaggeration--flattery if you will. The child probably senses, deep down inside, that it's not really true. That, I believe, could easily lead to insecurity in the child.
Excellent article. Too bad we've all been raised predominantly with the first method making it easy to slip and repeat it. The correct way takes more thought, as well. I found the book, "Developing Capable Young People" a life-changing read, too.
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