- Listen to, take notes on, create a to-do list on "Becoming Exemplary Latter-Day Saints" President Russell M. Nelson--October 2018 Conference. Accept with real intent the challenge to pray to know your spiritual gifts, expand them, and cultivate them. We will change the world.
- Say 10 positives to each child each day and your spouse.
What was your take on this article? Do you believe it or not believe it?
Class member: It talked about how you tell them they are smart. My husband still does that. I had my husband read this article this morning.
Class member: It was apparent in my family that we don’t tell her she is smart, but she is getting it at school and other places. It is starting to isolate her and she won’t try something because she is afraid she is going to fail. She won’t shoot a basketball because she might miss. I’m trying to come at it from a parenting thing.
Class member: My husband is a terrible speller and talks about it all the time. My boys say they are horrible spellers. They say it’s genetic. Parents give their kids an excuse. Everyone can learn. We have to be careful to about speaking about ourselves to.
Class member: My daughter’s 4th grade teacher talks about ‘grit’. Everything is about ‘grit’. That was the turn around for her.
Class member: My 6 year old boy struggles because he twin sister everything comes easy for her. His teacher is focusing on saying ‘you are being resilient. You are working through your challenges.’ He came home with a little award called the ‘resilience’ award. It means I have a hard time, but I tried. My kids have confidence that Mom will still love me even if I fail.
What did you think about the connection of this and self-esteem?
Class member: I liked how it said that the people who exert more effort can sustain longer without praise.
The less we give the more it encourages them to keep going.
Class member: “Emphasizing effort gives the child something they can control.” I thought I am doing this! This week I have tried to be very specific with what she is doing or not doing.
We want them to get this from the inside out and not the outside in.
Class member: I’m really bad at this. I tried really hard to be specific. One day I was really focusing on all of it. My son had vacuumed all the rooms. I thought I had to find something. I noticed that he had overlapped the lines and did a great job. He had to do another room later. I heard him in there saying, “Hey I’m doing the same thing I did in Mom’s room.” He was doing it himself. The atmosphere in the house was totally different. Everyone was happy and it was a light mood.
When you change this up we take competition out and the feeling of contention is gone.
Class member: There was a lot less fighting. I put 2 poster boards on our wall. I put “I am thankful for…” Everyone gets to write things. On the other poster board I wrote “I feel the spirit when…”
Parental withdrawal…what did you learn?
You fall back into ‘social praiser’ like an alcoholic that fell off the wagon.
Class member: ‘What if he makes the wrong conclusion?’ I think we don’t allow ourselves the faith that we can’t control it. My son has struggled a lot with kids and he came home so ‘high’. The kids were telling him he was so good about what he did with football. I started asking him about what he did. I let him talk about all of it. I asked, “Where do you think that came from? He kept saying the other kid. I said ‘Who decided to go out on the field? He kept saying ‘I did.’ I told him that he could get those good days from yourself. Sometimes those comments help remind us, but we need to do it on our own. It just goes back that faith that they can come to the same conclusion. I realize that I have to let him draw his own conclusion.
It takes time to build that character and faith in himself. Your handling of that was amazing. To keep turning it around and helping him see.
Class member: I have an older daughter and a younger son. My daughter it just comes easy for her. I feel like I have to praise my son more because things come easily to her? He will always ask am I reading as fast as her yet? He puts that competition on himself. My daughter puts me in competition with giving praise to her as much as I do to my son. They put themselves in competition naturally.
In that article, it says, “What you want them to feel like they are in power.” Effort is in their control.
To him: “You are exercising your brain. Look at where you are now.” Don’t bring her into it.
To her: “Heavenly Father has blessed you with a lot of gifts. Are you trying your hardest? Imagine where you can be if you put in the effort.”
One of the core things is that we value the opinion of the world more than we value ourselves.
It feels good to have someone tell you that you are good. It feels good to have someone tell you that you are better than someone else. That statement is actually discouraging. We are telling our kids how good they are, but instead of motivating to better behavior it defeats us.
The principle is in tact, but it has to be done a certain way to be internal. You have to be able to talk to them in a way that the positives you say can go inside.
The sincerity of the giver isn’t what is crucial in whether she can internalize it. You have to make it safe for the other person to take it in. If it’s not then it creates baggage and disbelief on the part of the receiver.
Your children will say in their heads…”You have to say that you are my Mom.”
It puts you back into that competition. It’s seeking the praise of the world. I’m only good if someone outside strokes. We live in a society that creates it. In our society it is “no child left behind.” Everyone gets a trophy and everyone gets a reward for everything. We have taken out ‘competition’, but we have taken out the value of the reward that comes from effort.
We have to teach that value comes from effort not from the product. If they put in effort you can win. Are you headed the right direction? We aren’t going to focus on where you are on the path.
Class member: We implemented into our home the Love Languages in our kids. My oldest is ‘words of affirmation’. One was ‘gifts’. It was interesting for them to see that they can receive love differently. My husband had to say, “What would your love language like me to do?”
Everyone needs affirmation to feel valuable. Some need a little more and some a little less. We need to talk about ‘how do you say those words of affirmation?”
For today….Praise (negative) and Encouragement (positive)
Praise comes from an outside source. We want to learn to speak in such a way that the value comes from the inside out…Encouragement.
We want to make children non-dependent on the praise of the world. Many of you were raised with praise and guilt. As you then get into a marriage it becomes baggage because if your husband doesn’t give ‘praise’ from the outside you feel like the spark has gone out. If you are dependent on that it becomes your value system. If you raise children in praise and criticism and guilt they feel like if you aren’t telling me I’m wonderful I must not be good enough.
Class member: I feel like this is something that I have really been working on. Still one of my kids gets in trouble and she thinks she’s a bad kid. My daughter gets in trouble and she says you love the boys more than me.
Now teach them the difference between the value and choices. You are a wonderful daughter and I love you, but you made a bad choice.
Syllabus…Page 57 (Ways to change Praise into Encouragement)
They need to feel capable and worthy and that they have power to determine which direction they are going. This is what will keep missionaries on missions. They are not dependent on the world for strokes.
Encouraging comments: (Bottom of pg 57)
Syllabus pg 61 (Problem Ownership)
One of the most important ways to teach our children to feel encouraged is to help them feel capable because they can do hard things. What is a child’s problem and what is your problem? Do you have power over your child failing? Do you have power over your child’s testimony? Do you have power over how you feel about it? YES! You need to help them learn how to deal with their problems. Typically we ‘fix’ their problems.
You don’t have friends…let’s do this.
Your grades are bad...you don’t get to go out for the next 27 weeks.
Teach them how to solve their problems and come up with their own answers.
LISTEN don’t give answers, just listen. Allow them to fail! Let them learn from it. Say, “This was just one option that didn’t work. How else can we change?” This is where creative thinking comes in. Failure doesn’t mean you are bad or good. It means you discover something that didn’t work. This is how you teach the consequence of the failure. We are trying so hard to make them succeed and not get hurt. Life is not like that. They need to learn that it is ok to fail, address it, and come up with another solution that might work.
Why do you think Nephi had to go back 3x to get the plates? There were things that needed to be learned through failure. Heavenly Father isn’t there to make everything easy.
HOMEWORK: Elder Holland “Be Ye Therefore Perfect Eventually”
HOMEWORK: Study (different than reading) “How Not To Talk to Your Kids!” Research paper. Come prepared to give me your take away.
HOMEWORK: Validate your children 10 to 1. Encourage them 10x to every 1 negative.
You are generally reactive with your children. You go logistics where they are going, giving out assignments. We aren’t always good with the positives. We need to keep the bank account up so they can learn to teach.
I think we should tell our children we are a child of God. It is important for you to look for and tell your children what their spiritual gifts are.
Syllabus pg 59-60 4 steps and problem ownership.
Class member: I wanted to use the white board for to-do lists. They play add on. She will draw a couple of lines and squiggles and they turn it into a picture.
The key in trying to teach them is that they are resilient. They don’t have to be perfect or better than or the best. They have to be on their way. They have to be dependable and moving forward.
Poem in the syllabus: Carleen’s Dance
Did you notice the things you said this week?
Class member: Someone made the comment of ‘that’s the coolest thing ever!’ I just laughed.
Class member: Words of affirmation is the bottom of my totem pole. Is this something that is applicable to me?
President Kimball says…I need to know if I hit the mark. I don’t need the praise to fill my bucket. You need to know that you hit the mark. If it’s your love language you need it more to feel validated. ALL of us need feedback in a way that we can say “That worked! I was on target!” As adults it’s critical for your self esteem, but needs to come from the inside out.
Class member: I learned that I have a lot of improving to do in this area. I think I’m addicted to praise. I think I was raised on praise. I noticed over the past week he will come and he will say, “Mom, your so cute!” I totally feed off it. I taught him that he’s not articulating specifics.
This was a hard one for me to break old habits and create new ones. First of all you have to be aware of it. You have to be aware of what is coming in to you and if you can accept it.
Someone came up to me after my talk on Sunday a brother came up and said, “That was the best talk I heard. You speak just like a General Authority.” It just didn’t go in.
Class member: Sunday I watched our bishop get up and say, “We just have the best Relief Society president.” She was just sitting there shaking her head. It didn’t buoy her up. I tried to be more aware of this with my kids.
It becomes a habit. You can become addicted to it. You start judging your value by that outside input.
Most parents don’t get a real payday until after your children are married and have their first baby. That’s when they finally appreciate how great you are.
This week is a tool to get them out of competition. These 2 topics are married. They march hand in hand.
What you perceive is truth is not necessarily true. In our parenting our perception isn’t always the reality.
Humans need to feel like we are of worth and valuable and what we are doing is of worth. We all need to have positives. I know that all of you are trying to raise your children with an abundance of positives.
“Every child needs regular reports affirming, ‘You are known. You are valued. You have potential. You are good.’”
(Sister Gayle M. Glegg, “The Language of Love”, Ensign, May 2002 pg 67)
With our children we throw out positives.
Example….Suzanne you have the best hair in this room. Her first thought is…yeah right! Look at everyone else in this room.
Write down something you are great at. You can’t do it.
Write down 20 things you do wrong. You can do it instantly.
We don’t give ourselves permission to accept compliments.
How do we give a positive in a way to lift someone instead of discourage them?
I was giving her a positive to lift her, but instead it discouraged her and she thought of all the reasons why it’s not right.
Class member: My 8 year old came up with a list of several things that she did great. How does it change?
She is still in those years. She is in a bubble. The world goes after them and puts them in competition. We in the home have to teach them how to preserve it.
What makes her feel discouraged? My reality is that she has the most beautiful hair. How do we get the love, encouragement, faith, and hope we have in our children so they don’t laugh at what we have said?
In your mind you have to stay with me in my definitions.
Praise = Negative that may seem positive, but actually tear down
Encouragement = Positive that lift and build
Praise always will be defeating. The first they do is de-value it. In your head you make excuses for why it’s not true. Praise makes us have to be the best. To be the best puts pressure on you. Praise is addictive. It’s like giving them morphine. As you praise your children they become dependent on that as their sense of value.
Example: If you don’t tell me that my hair looks good today does that mean that it’s not ok?
I externally need people to tell me I’m fabulous all the time or I’m not good enough. If you have been raised with praise or guilt you are very dependent on verbal affirmations from your husband. Men aren’t very good about doing that. You tend to be very lonely in your marriage. It has to do with your addiction praise. It doesn’t matter how much he says because in 15 minutes you need more. Sometimes it’s not verbal, but attention your are seeking.
What is praise?
What is encouragement?
“While counseling missionaries at the missionary training center (MTC) in Provo, Utah, I noticed that the most common cause of emotional problems was a lack of resilience. When an intelligent, talented missionary with no history of emotional problems struggled, priesthood leaders and others often wondered why. In many cases, the missionary just hadn’t learned how to deal with challenges well. Parents can help their children avoid such problems by teaching principles that foster greater resilience.” “Raising Resilient Children”
Resilience is failing and getting back up to try again.
The beginning step is this encouragement. They aren’t dependent on ‘external’ focus. Their feelings of worth come from the inside out. That starts with learning how to use encouragement.
Class member: Focus not on what we are accomplishing, but what we are becoming.
With praise we tend to ‘tell’ them what to do and problem solve for them.
Children now have a shorter attention span. Their minds are zinging all the time. It’s that electronic input all the time. They aren’t bad they are constant. They don’t know how to sit or do very much reading any more. They don’t know how to problem solve. If something doesn’t work out they quit.
A child is coloring and his pencil drops. We say…why don’t you go get another one. Instead of saying, “What do you think we can do?” and let them solve the problem. We do it to buy peace. Lots of times we don’t want to take the time and we want to buy peace.
Class member: Another term is called learned helplessness.
There is a new term out….lawn mower mom….this is someone that mows the lawn and makes the way clear so they just walk down the green grass.
Class member: Some people think I’m not as involved as I should be. I don’t remember the involvement that people expect from today. Things like that are causing people to not be able to solve their problems because their Mom is always there with them.
Class member: I had my first baby last year. She was early. I was reading through my notes one day and I read that it was to teach our children to be resilient. It was liberating for me to remember that she is going to have hard experiences in her life. It’s my responsibility to help her overcome that.
Your children need a parent, but after they are married you can be their buddy.
We raise our children to be independent. We raise them to help them on their way. Too many of them want to stay home and let Mom take care of them forever. It makes the nurturing Mom’s feel like my value as a person is dependent on how much you need me. We want them to need the Lord and be independent from us.
Class member: When I was growing up we lived in a very hands off family. I struggle now with understanding when to step in and when not to.
When they cease to function on their own then you have done too much.
“As children become resilient, they understand and accept these two facts. They see life as challenging and ever changing, but they believe they can cope with those challenges and changes. They view mistakes and weaknesses as opportunities to learn, and they accept that losing may precede winning.” “Raising Resilient Children”
That is something you teach them. If they feel like losing or getting a bad grade makes them a loser they internalize that by how we react. We don’t say the words, but they feel like a loser. Our reaction creates in them the feeling. That has to do with our expectations for them. HOW WE DO THAT can defeat them or lift them. If we take their problems on ourselves and then we solve them they don’t learn and they become dependent on us and that they can’t do it without us.
Example…I really love those earrings. Can you accept that? Yes. If I say…Those are the best looking earrings I have seen. Can you accept that? No…I bought them at DI.
Class member: I will say…How is my favorite 6 year old today? Is that ok?
If you use it for them all and it’s consistent that’s ok, but I stay away using the word favorite. There has to be no other comparison.
Class member: If I were to say that kids hear the word favorite and stop there.
It comes down to what their perception is. It may not be what our intent is.
PRAISE: “You are such a good girl for cleaning your room”
ENCOURAGEMENT: “I love how hard you are working on getting this room clean.”
Class member: Usually I say I appreciate that your room looks better and you working hard on it.
Class member: I like how you put all the pillows on the bed.
When we check their rooms we look at what hasn’t been done. We then you need to say, “What else do you think you can do?”
If you use encouragement with the intent of controlling their behavior it will never work. It is never used to control it is used to lift.
Class member: I have been thinking about my 9 and 11 yr old doing their own hair. How do I get the older one to encourage her little sister to say, “I can see you are improving.” Instead she says, “I could do better.”
That’s comparison. You can’t lecture them. She doesn’t want her sister’s hair to look good because then it’s better than hers. You can say, “You do know how to do your pony tail good. It would be wonderful if you can teach her how to do that. I’ll bet you have some tricks to help her to that.” If you pull them into a teacher position it helps them get out of looking only at themselves.
Class member: I’ve caught my kids doing that and I’ll say, “Let’s do that again.” Pretty soon if they don’t know what they are supposed to say then I can gauge what they know or don’t understand. It allows me to not jump in, but it allows me to see where they are at.
Non-verbal lessons are sometimes more powerful than the verbal ones.
Emotional Bank Accounts:
They are critical. You make deposits and you make withdrawals. If you make more deposits you are in the black. If you take out more you are in the red. You have to put in 10 positives to every 1 negative. Our interaction seems to be more of either telling them what to do or putting them down.
If you have a child with an empty emotional bank account it’s almost impossible to act in a positive way. You need to learn the ability to say encouraging things.
There are 7 keys to help you validate and encourage your children.
1. Learn this language of encouragement.
Catch yourself when you are going to do a positive….work on something specific and effort and then it will encourage.
2. Learn your child’s love language.
Some need words of affirmation. Some need space. You need to give them SOME of what they need. All of your children need physical touch whether it is their love language or not. It teaches them how to be a good marriage partner. Needs to be some kind of physical contact.
3. Have individual talk time.
This is not lecture time or training time. You listen and ask questions. You need to have eye contact. It can be a few seconds here and a few seconds there. You need to be totally in their space. You need to develop this time where they learn that it’s safe to talk to you. When they learn that they can feel of value. You are just listening and empathizing and caring. That makes them feel important. You need to pray for the gift of asking good questions. Some people have that natural gift. I love to listen to her ask questions.
4. Help them learn problem ownership.
I love the story of the Brother of Jared in Ether. He tells him how to build the barges and what tools to use. This is our children at the beginning. He says there is no light. He expects the Lord to just give him the answer. Instead he asks what he would like him to do. He went and ‘moltened’ stones. He worked on them and refined them. Then when he put for the effort he comes back and says I did this. Could you touch them? He had a plan.
We spend a lot of time telling our children what to do. There reaches a point where we need to let them make their own plan. Schooling/friends…those are their problems. We need to be a sounding board and help them discover answers not by solving it, but asking questions so the answers will lead them to solutions. What would happen if you do that? What are the consequences to that? Help them see the long term picture. As they get older if they come up with a solution that you know won’t work let them see it through to the end and allow them the right to fail. What did you learn from this? What could you do differently?
You need to be their support system
Class member: I think you got there for me…How can we help our kids get through things? I can see my 8 year old doing that.
If they want you to do it for them ask them what they would like you to do.
Class member: I did something right this week. My 11 yr old had a tantrum because I wouldn’t write his book report. He threw a fit. He typed it and went back the next day and felt good about it.
Why do they do it? So they will change your mind.
When you give it back to them you can expect that kind of behavior. You have to judge. There are moments when we all need some help. Don’t let it be a habit, but there are times that we get in a pickle and need service. The rule should be they solve their own problems and you are the helper.
By the time they are 12 you are through teaching your children new things (Tanner 1:1). What you teach them now is how to apply things they have learned. You are their cheerleader. You teach them problem ownership. You teach them to be self reliant. Start cutting your strings. Help them learn to get up and go again.
When you have those experiences then you share them so they see you admitting you made a mistake. They need to see you feel of worth even if you make a mistake.
Class member: I had a similar experience with my 7 year old and a primary talk. In the past I have written it out for her and she just says it. This time I had the impression for her to look it up and write it on her own. She did it herself. It was through encouragement. It was a good experience to learn that and know that she is capable and very willing to do it.
5. Creative thinking.
This is part of the “Come Follow Me” and “Teaching In the Savior’s Way”. They need to come prepared and they help give the lesson. The way you develop the process is asking them creative questions. “If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be and why?” “What kind of animal would you be?” Creative things to use their imagination.
They need to learn to be creative…yarn, fabric, glue, paste, paper, pencils, craft stuff. They need to have a place with supplies and encourage them to make things. Encourage them to make their Christmas gifts.
Your children should have a non-electronic hobby….baking, sewing, wood work, gardening. How do they entertain themselves…it’s more than reading. If they write the stories or the poetry and create it then it works.
They need to learn imagination. Our children are being robbed of that.
6. Set goals and help them achieve them.
These help in PPI’s. We get them in church…Faith in God, Scouts, YW, etc. If you have regular PPI’s with them they set the goal and achieve it. What happens if they decide to change their goal…it’s ok. They can change it. They need to make the goal and then figure out what steps they have to take to reach it.
Class member: What if they want to change just because it’s too hard and it takes too much effort? When do you say let’s keep trying on this for a bit longer?
You can break it down into even smaller steps. If they really don’t want to and if that becomes a pattern then stick with it for a set amount of months. You want them to do what they want to do.
7. Identify what you think are their divine gifts and tell them.
If they think Heavenly Father has given them a specific gift they will work harder to develop that.
Class member: There was competition created because of the way those gifts were pointed out….be careful that it isn’t competition.
You have to be careful that they don’t take it on as an identity, but a gift and it’s given to help other people. This is better done in private. It makes them feel loved by Heavenly Father if He gave them special gifts to come to earth.
Written by Sandi Haslam
A spotlight, white and brilliant, lays a circle on the stage,
And in the hush there stands there, a child of tender age.
Slippered for the dance she’s learned; she listens, small and scared,
To hear the melody she knows, for which she has prepared.
She knows out in the darkness, just beyond the light,
Her father, in the first row, will watch her dance tonight.
Familiar, lovely, music begins to fill her ears.
Her small slippers start to dance despite her childish fear.
Carefully remembering each spin and turn, and bow,
She dances to the edge of light and pauses to look out.
But all there is, is darkness, missteps, and then she falls.
From somewhere just beyond the light, her name is softly called.
“Go on, go on! Keep dancing! I’m here, where you can’t see,
But, oh! My ballerina, you’re so beautiful to me!”
At his voice she rises and dances till it’s done.
Then, there he is, embracing, when the curtain comes.
All mistakes forgotten, she triumphed in the light
Because her loving father watched her dance tonight.
You’re the ballerina, and life becomes your stage--
This is your chance—your time to dance, you’re chosen epic age.
When the world would blind you and hide Him from your sight,
Know Father cares, and that He’s there, just beyond the light.
Wishing He could save you when you stumble and you fall,
Knowing you by very name, softly He will call--
“Go on, go on! Keep dancing! I’m here where you can’t see,
But, oh! My ballerina! You’re so beautiful to me!”
And at His voice you’ll know Him. You’ll rise and dance again--
You’ll wear out slippers trying to dance the dance like Him.
When the music dies away and finally it is done,
There He’ll be, embracing, when to the veil you come.
All mistakes forgiven, you triumphed in the light,
Because a loving Father watched you dance tonight.
Class member: I tried, but I didn’t know say. I think my focus is more on validating. There was an instance I was reviewing it with my husband. He turned it over to me to deal with the boys because he didn’t know how to say it correctly.
Class member: My son has been having issues with the groups playing soccer and other games at recess. I got home last Thursday and asked him “What do you think you can do about it?” I’m still following up. I’ve given him a couple of ideas. I was aware and I asked him.
At a young age they don’t know the answers. This is their time to learn. You don’t teach them in 2 years after they get back off their missions.
Class member: My son is 2 , my daughter 6. I had to rephrase some things.
You have to be aware, then change, then say things wrong, and then rephrase. It took me 6 years so it would just roll off my tongue.
Class member: I was surprised at how much encouragement I actually gave. I either needed to say nothing or got tongue tied. I asked…Did you have fun? What did you think? I didn’t feel like I had to be in the middle.
When they start having it come out of them when they are saying the positive that’s what we want.
Class member: I have a wonderful 17 year old son I’m struggling with right now. As my thoughts were on him and I was trying to encourage my daughters my tone was still based on what I was feeling for him. It didn’t sound like encouragement to the girls.
We can say the same thing in different tones and it means 2 different things. We are like a river and everything flows into it. We stir it around and it shades everything we say.
Class member: This is my 3rd-4th year taking this. I feel like I’m really good at it now. I saw the right thing in the right tones. I found that opera was my best source to yell and get that frustration out. I find my kids singing opera around the house. It’s happier than yelling is. I feel like my kids are now encouraging one another because they hear it all the time.
Can you imagine how fabulous it would be to be raised and hear it right? That’s the advantage your kids will have over you.
Question…How many of you feel overwhelmed with this class?
Class member: This is my first time. I missed last week. I feel like if I had more time to digest. I’m still back on the family motto. To have added new information next week. My goal was 5 things from this class. I don’t have enough time to process it all. I’m really hard on myself. My youngest is in 1st grade this year. I’m overwhelmed in life generally. I really want to be good at it. I have a 13, 11, 7 year old all boys. It’s something I want to check off my bucket list saying I was a good mom. Some days I let them make me feel like I’m not perfect. I feel most criticized by my “perfect” son. I’ve been afraid to ask “What lack I yet?” We were ponderizing how we could have our lives centered around Christ. I’m kind of afraid to ask because I’m afraid of the answer. I feel like what I lack is how I talk to my kids.
You can’t check that off until you are dead. I still wonder.
This is what my Dad told me when I was a kid. There was something I wanted to do and he said no. He said, “I don’t care if you hate me now. I care if you hate me when you are 30.” We can’t be their ‘buddy’ and be their best friends. We need to be their parent. When they have 3 kids lets revisit that conversation.
Class member: Her comment…this is my first class too, because I’m new to the area. I remember you said it’s up to you if this class is going to change you. I’m more trying to take it in and trying to see where it takes me. I’m just now focusing on prayers which was our first class. I always keep a dry erase marker in my bathroom and write the idea on my mirror. I had a thought of having a prayer list with the kids. So the other day I grabbed a sharpie and stuck them by my scriptures. After we did them I said let’s just talk about who needs our prayers. We have 6 names/families on there and I only came up there with 2. I’m just trying to not be overwhelmed with the information. I’m super chill. It’s different when you have kids in your 30’s.
Class member: It’s my first time and I’ve been more trying to listen and take good notes. It reminds me of General Conference. It’s not until you are able to focus on them one by one to really take that information in.
What is Praise? The world says our kids need praise to have good self-esteem. Do you praise your kids?
Class member: I think it’s giving ‘props’ to someone for something they did.
Class member: Giving compliments.
Class member: Giving positives. For me praise is verbal compliments.
Class member: If you are supposed to give more positives than negatives.
How many of you are good at it?
Class member: I have to make myself acknowledge it. We never got that from my Mom.
Class member: I was feeling really guilty about something about this morning. There was a million things going on. My daughter told me she raised her grade. I said “That’s awesome! Good job.” I didn’t even stop to look at her. She worked really hard and I didn’t stop.
Class member: I feel like with our littles it’s easier to praise because you are trying to teach them. Is it more difficult as they get older?
Let’s face it…8 year olds don’t do as many cute things as the 3 year old.
Class member: I had to mentally do this as well. It’s so easy to be critical. I have seen the other side. I have one child who wants it all the time. She is a people pleaser. I have one that you can praise, but it doesn’t always sink in. It’s a chain reaction. The praise changes attitude in the house. It changes what you look for. It’s ok if it’s just a high-five. It almost heals the things you said bad.
Most of you…generically…have been raised with praise and guilt. When you did something wrong you felt guilty. A lot of you felt like if you kept doing it wrong you felt helpless. If you are given a hard assignment you would rather just quit as an adult. Most of you do not choose to do hard things as adults. You choose to do right easy things.
We choose the easy path because we don’t want to fail. When you are put in charge of a big project that is how you feel. We lead a life of least resistance. Someone else is requiring things of our kids.
We feel guilty when we don’t succeed.
Seeing positives is a habit you have to seek to develop because you were raised by parents and teachers who were quick to tell you what you did wrong with the understanding that you would choose to do the right thing. If I correct misbehavior and help them see what they are doing wrong so they will do better. We focus on negatives. The intention is not bad. We want to correct them so they will do better.
We are refereeing our children. We are looking at all the faults throwing the flag and telling them how to do it better. When you say they were the best they don’t believe us because we had just been critical the practice before. We don’t have any credibility. When others tell them they are wonderful they disbelieve it.
What happens if they disbelieve positives? They become negatives. They begin to feel like I’m never good enough. How does that relate to Heavenly Father? They believe that they are not good enough. Everyone of you is a candidate for the Celestial Kingdom. You are doing right things. You don’t have to be perfect.
We have parents who very much believe in positives. They are always telling their children that was so wonderful. You sing so beautifully. You are so great with… We do it all the time. We create a dependency on positives. They become dependent on external strokes.
We have talked about ‘under-praised’ children. If they are under-praised they won’t build a strong self esteem. So we want to feed them positives so they will have a good self esteem. Many parents really over-praise.
“Over praised children strongly suggest that image maintenance becomes their primary concern. They are more competitive and more interested in tearing others down. In between the first and the second they were offered the choice of learning a new puzzle strategy or to find out what their standing was with the other students. Students praised for intelligence. Those praised for intelligence chose to find out how they ranked. The other ones chose to find out strategy so they could do better.”
One group they praised for their intelligence. One group they praised for their effort.
They tear others down so they look like they are better than other people. You will find your children tearing others down in our family. Sometimes we call it tattling. They want that guy to look bad so I can look good.
Those that we praise we actually sometimes tear them down. Then students turn to cheating because they haven’t developed the ability to handle failure. If you are praised you cheat to maintain the image of being smart.
If you have a child that fails and you say, “I’m sure you are going to do better next time.” You are teaching him no coping skills of how to handle failure. He becomes dependent on that praise.
These children also become quitters.
Too much praise destroys the initiative and self motivation. They live on external approval. This is a form of pride.
Being truly humble doesn’t make you worry about where you are.
We as parents may be training our children to focus on that scale.
Class member: Spencer my oldest son, this is his thing. When I told him I loved him and he would say, “Why do you say that?” Every time I gave him a compliment he wanted the details. It was never enough for him. He was seeking and that is what he needed.
The guy that did this study over-praised his kids. He said the problem was with him. The children’s withdrawal won’t be so bad. He felt if I’m not praising him that was how he showed them he loved them. In my final stage of withdrawal, I was leaving it up to him to create his own deduction. By all of this praise what we do is make our children become dependent on external positives. We want them to have it internally.
You probably don’t do that really well because of how you were raised. It’s a consequence of how you were raised. This problem that is created when they are young is carried into adulthood. How do we overcome any problem? You have to be aware of it. You have to figure out what to do about it. Then you have to apply the Atonement.
The Atonement can wipe away what happened before and help you learn the new tools and learn that you are good.
Have you ever gone and given a lesson and put your soul into it? Not one person comes up to you and tells you that you did good. Do you feel like you are a failure because there are no external strokes. You have to be able to come back and say that was good. The spirit was there. You validate yourself from inside. The Lord gave me the Spirit to bring the Spirit. Credit is given to Heavenly Father.
If you learn to validate yourself is it ok to look in the mirror and tell yourself you look good today? Yes.
Wherever we go we look for what is negative. That is just what you do. The habit has to be changed so you can validate the good from inside yourself and teach your children to do that to themselves.
All of you are nervous about who your kids marry. If you have raised your children from external praise and someone oohs and ahhhs over them, but they are so dependent on praise how much do they listen to you? If their self value comes from inside them and they are not dependent on the approval from someone else can they see pass the fluff? Yes. They have a better ability of making a good decision. If they are not afraid of failure then they become better able to make good choices.
How you say positives to them either fills their bucket or depletes their bucket. It gives them courage or weakens them. That is going to sound a little strange. You feel like if you say a positive it should lift them.
There are 2 ways to say a positive.
One is “Praise”. Praise are positive statements that cause discouragement. Pg 57 Praise focuses on generals, superlatives, it is focused. Praise is focused on value. “You are good for helping me in the store.” Praise automatically has within it win-lose. If you don’t help me in the store you are bad. It automatically creates competition because of the win-lose in it.
You are so wonderful for getting an “A”. What happens to the brother that sits over here and got a “B”. If I didn’t get an “A” I’m not wonderful. I stink. In your statement you create win-lose. That’s not your intention. You aren’t thinking that. You have to create a habit that you think about.
My husband told me I was the most negative person he ever met in his life. It was because the positives I said were conditional. I was very much into pointing out negatives to make us better. I worked really hard for about 6 years to change it.
I told her the upside of something and she said, “Isn’t it ever bad?” Is nothing ever bad to you? You can change it. You want to develop the habit of being able to say positives in a way that lift.
Praise is always product oriented. What’s the product? The clean room. Does that make you a bad boy if you only clean up part of the living room? We point out the bad and make them feel bad. We praise if you get it right. If you don’t we point out why you are wrong and criticize why you were wrong. It validates the feeling that if it isn’t perfect it isn’t good enough.
Praise you can only give if they are doing right and well. You can only do it if the product is amazing.
“I’m so proud of the way all of you played together.” “I’m proud” in this sentence is a value judgment.
“I felt so proud seeing your project at the science fair.” If you project hadn’t been wonderful I wouldn’t have been proud of you.
“Aren’t you wonderful to be Mommy’s little helper?” Do you see the value judgment? It’s your worth you are talking about.
Class member: One of my sons got hurt. Yesterday at recess he checked on him. That’s makes me happy because you were looking after your brother?
Can any of your see yourself in this?
Example---I think you are the most beautiful woman in this class. “It doesn’t make me feel wonderful today because all I did was shower and nothing else.” That may be my truth. You invalidate what was says.
That is praise. That is how praise is taken in. You think you are building self esteem but it is rolling off. They can’t internalize it. It still is an opium that because addictive. Praise lasts about 5 seconds. In 10 minutes am I still really, really good. The opposite of praise is Encouragement. Praise is hollow and addictive. Encouragement is building and is from the inside out. I can tell myself I’m good.
Example—“You know…I love that headband. It pulls your hair back so I can see your beautiful eyes.” She would probably say thank you. She is really smiling. Chances are when she needs to go do something she may be thinking about wearing that headband, not because I said you are the most beautiful girl for wearing that headband. It comes from inside her. Did that feel safer? Yes. Could you accept that? Yes.
We need to learn how to give our children positives that are safe that they can internalize so when they fail they can say ‘It failed, I didn’t fail. I need to think of another solution.” They aren’t the failure the experience is the failure.
Survey…“How Not To Talk To Your Kids” By Po Bronson August 3, 2007
“Then I tried to use the specific type praise (encouragement). I encouraged Luke, but I encouraged the process. What does on in the 5 year olds mind? Every night he has Math homework and phonics. It takes 5 minutes. I encouraged him for concentrating without having to take a break.”
We are talking about effort.
“If he listened to instructions I encouraged the listening. If he passed the ball in soccer I encouraged that.
Encouragement focuses on product and not effort. Can you praise and “F”? No. The product stinks. Can you encourage a student with and “F”? Yes.
It creates the ability of the child to take it and implement it in other examples.
“I really appreciate your help in the supermarket today.” I am saying thank you for your help. The child can internalize they are a good person.
“Thank you for cleaning the living room. It looks very nice.” What if you walk into the living room, but you forgot the pillows or the shoes? You need to recognize what you did do right. You really got the coffee table looking good. Can you see anything else that needs to be picked up? We usually say, “But…” We point out all the flaws. It makes them still dependent.
Can you thank them for cleaning the family room if it’s not done? You point out again in specifics what is right. Thank you for straightening up the videos they look great. Choose humor when they can’t see anything. Well…I think I can see a few what do you think I can see? Don’t go into lecture anyway. You want them to feel happy and positive with their experience, but they need to do it with exactness.
We want to get out of praise and guilt and go to encouragement.
We have to change our tools. When you ask questions they are have to think. We are assuming that they have been taught correctly. We are assuming they already know it.
Class member: Because my kids are all older that if they were taught correctly that then they would always do it correctly. I still have to use humor or I have to get mad. There is always what they didn’t do still. They are still kids. Even though you are doing this it doesn’t make the behavior always change.
Why are we doing it?
Class member: It’s a process.
We want to not damage them as they are going through the process.
Page 59 of the syllabus…It says there are 4 keys….there are actually 7 keys.
1. Learn the language of encouragement---that is exactly how to say encouraging things. Your typical answer is…”Wow! I’m so proud of you for doing a great job in the living room.” Total praise. The best way when you are first learning is to ask yourself “Why?” “Why do you think the living room looks great?” Speak to that. “ I appreciate you putting away all the books and stacking the pillow on the couch.” It’s very specific.
If you have a hard time figuring out how to change praise to encouragement you can speak to the ‘why’.
Emotional bank account is still in play. 10 positive comments to the 1 negative. If you say it wrong and you will…then rephrase it. Say it again.
2. Learn your child’s love language---This gives them courage when you say “I love you” in a way they can understand. If you say, “I love you” and it’s not their love language can they feel loved? That truth may not mean your children feel loved.
Class member: My husband cannot stand it when I tell him “I love him” all the time. Me on the other hand I like to hear it. He said if I don’t love you anymore I will let you know. I have to figure out how to get him to feel it.
The basic need is to feel loved!
3. Have talk time with children---The way this creates courage is for you to learn to listen. This is encouraging and validating.
Example…you have child names Lucy. She comes home from school and says, “I hate James. I want to punch his lights out.” You say, we don’t hate. To validate and encourage to help her feel of worth.
1. Give her your full attention. Stop! (what you are doing) Drop! (to their level) Look in their eyes.
2. Listen to her feelings not her words. What is she feeling? She is intensely discouraged and frustrated right now.
3. Listen to the needs she is expressing.
4. Try to understand it from her perspective.
You might say, “I don’t blame you. I might feel the same way if I were you.” What has she found? Validation…this is hard. You understand. When she feels like she is being understood you can say, “What do you think you might do?” Listen to her answers. If they are really off the wall then you are going to go into questions. She may give an answer. “What do you think would happen if you did that?” “What else do you think you could do?” Let her come up with answers. Continue to validate. If she has no idea you can give her some suggestions.
4. Help them learn “Problem Ownership”—We make our kids problem ours. Tattling is their problem. We intervene because we buy peace fast. They get to solve their own problems.
Questions to ask….
My son came home and said, “I’m going to pole-vault for track.” My normal response would be you are going to get hurt. I said, “What made you decide that? Do you think that will be fun? I can hardly wait to come to your meets.” He went to districts. He learned it and he did it. What if I had said, “You can’t do that. You have never done that.”
Part of this is to provide opportunities to be creative. Help them learn hobbies. Let them do something. Teach them safety, but provide glue, paper, scissors, sewing machine, classes, crochet, quilt.
Class member: My husband is really good at providing opportunities. My husband will give him a phone and a hammer and let him see what was inside.
Let them adventure.
Business School in Provo---For a final project they are given $1.5 million and they are formed into teams. Each team has to create a business. They make money for the bank. What is the difference between that and sitting in a classroom with a list of rules.
Let the kids do it. When they have been encouraged instead of held back they dream big.
6. Help them set goals and achieve them—Scouts, Personal Progress, Achievement Days. They need to set all kinds of goals. If you have a child interested in animals…have them look up an animal and present a report to the family because here is a goal and do it. If they want to learn to swim help them do it. In the process, have them set a goal. Have them identify the steps to achieve the goal. Create a time table. Have a time to return and report. If they don’t return and report they don’t follow through.
7. They need to understand that Heavenly Father loves them individually as a person he has given spiritual gifts to them individually—They should know some of their spiritual gifts because you have prayed about them and been prompted.
They are the peacemaker.
They are happy.
They are a hard worker.
They are divine gifts. If you identify them then they feel an intimate relationship with Heavenly Father. What is your responsibility because Heavenly Father gave you that gift. You need to bear witness and testify that Heavenly Father loves me individually. You help them recognize them.
You need to help them know now that they can make mistakes that they can fall and fail, but they are of great value. They have the ability the smarts the strength to get up and do it again. They don’t fail if the project fails that is just part of life. It is our responsibility to help them and how to say it.
Carleen’s Dance (poem)—In syllabus
Here is a link to a blog post... "64 Positive Things To Say To Kids"
Notes from classes and other information will be posted here. Also you can order syllabus and CDs from the store or check out the "Traditions" that class members have shared. You can also ask a Parenting and/or Marriage Question.
I will be posting my class notes from Thursday Parenting Class within a few days after class.