Wednesday, May 2, 2007

What think ye??

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


TrueFaced said...

Posted 5/9/2007 12:48 PM

hmm... interesting!!
do you believe some people need more encouragement and praise than others?
OR that some people just need affirmation more than others?
OR that we're all vain sinners!!

all i know is i revel in praise and encouragement.... it's like drinking a coca cola or something. but it leaves you parched in the end when you just need w a t e r....

The Savage said...

Posted 5/11/2007 12:42 AM

Good question TF!! I think maybe a bit of all three! ;-) It's nice to hear an "atta boy" every once in a while, but we certainly shouldn't be waiting around for them. Praise can't be all bad though, 'cause God inhabits the praise of His people. Maybe then, the problem with some kinds of praise is if/when we're keeping glory for ourselves that should be given to Him??

My initial reaction to the article was to roll my eyes at the "you must build self-esteem" mindset; but then, I really don't know how to encourage a 2 year old either. It's a LOT easier to say "stop doing thus-n-so," than it is to encourage them when they're behaving well (or at least not misbehaving)!! :-D