Posts Tagged ‘self-esteem’

Will You Praise Your Child This Mother’s Day?

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Will You Praise Your Child's Mother's Day Gift? | Marcy Axness, PhDAlong with breakfast in bed and maybe some flowers or candy…if you have a young child, you’ll invariably be presented with a handmade present — of course, the best kind. And you won’t care if the colors clash, if the popsicle sticks aren’t straight, if the pasta is coming unglued; your heart will expand, almost painfully, with a gush of love and tenderness unique to the moment. These truly are the most precious gifts! And this is one instance where it is impossible (and unnatural!) not to praise your child. But what about every other day…? When you praise your child, do you really build self-esteem, as many people assume? Or do you unwittingly erode intrinsic motivation, pleasure and self-satisfaction?

Somewhere along the way it became generally assumed that praise builds self-esteem, leading to the daily parental litany of “Nice job!” and “Great throw!” and “Gorgeous painting!” and on and on ad nauseum. Pundits call it “affirmation” and “positive feedback.” B.F. Skinner called it “positive reinforcement.” (more…)

Teen Addiction Prevention

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

I pointed out in Part 1 that our culture harbors a common, dangerous misconception about teens — that they need us to drop the reins and let them “do their thing.” But in terms of their brain and social development, they are as tender as they were as infants. So, we need to remain their active guides and examples. Adults staying actively, enthusiastically involved in the lives of their children and students is one of the best teen addiction prevention measures. In addition to the 3 guidelines offered in Part 1, what else do teens need from us during this time when our window of potent influence is so soon to close? (more…)

Does Praising Children Build Self-Esteem?

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Somewhere along the way it became generally assumed that praise builds self-esteem, leading to the daily parental litany of “Nice job!” and “Great throw!” and “Gorgeous painting!” and on and on ad nauseum. Pundits call it “affirmation” and “positive feedback.” B.F. Skinner called it “positive reinforcement.” Does praising children really build their self-esteem, as many people assume it does? Or does it erode their intrinsic motivation, pleasure and self-satisfaction? (more…)