We give all participants awards so no one feels unsuccessful. We care so much about self-esteem that we create a false sense of importance within our children.
What’s so bad about focusing on self-esteem? When we inflate self-esteem, we cause problems in several areas of life.
First, none of us likes to be around someone who has an inflated view of himself. An arrogant boss likely won’t value your input. If Mr. Bighead works for you, he probably won’t take direction well. poisonous
An arrogant person cares more about himself than others. As self-centered people climb the corporate ladder, they often see others as rungs.
But did you know that too much praise can actually keep your child off the ladder to success? Children who are drenched in the wrong kind of praise grow up lacking two essential qualities for success.
- Kids hooked on praise lack the confidence to fail.
Children praised for ‘being’ wonderful develop a perverse fear of failure, not wanting to risk failing. In a recent study, researchers gave the same test to two groups of kids. Regardless of their scores, the first group was praised for “being smart.” The second group was praised for effort.
Among the students praised for effort, 90 percent subsequently chose to take a harder test when offered. But the majority of the students praised for being smart chose to take an easier test. Apparently these ‘smart’ kids couldn’t risk losing their lofty position so they opted to avoid the harder challenge. poisonous
When children are willing to risk failure, they discover a key to success.
- Kids inundated with praise lack the willingness to persevere.
Children who must protect their reputations rarely perceive failure as an invitation to try again. These kids are scared to fail, so they only seek out challenges they can master. They quit in the face of a hard task.
If you must praise, do so for effort. Simply express an interest in what your child is doing. Instead of praising, ask them to tell you about what they’re working on.
If you lie and tell a child he’s a prodigy when he’s not, you lose credibility, and any praise you give loses its value. If you want your children to seek out challenge and develop internal motivation, hold off on poison praise. poisonous
A man who flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his steps.
Is your praise helpful or hurtful?
By James D. Dempsey, Ph.D.
Husband to Gail
Father of three
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Presenter for The National Center For Biblical Parenting
Author of Parenting Unchained
Host of the radio show, Parenting Unchained, at www.LOTOradio.com
Click on Jim’s book, Parenting Unchained, for a link to read more!