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….
- How do you feel about that?Help them see all the positives they have already done in the process.“I don’t know what to do now.”I can see that you have already done some research online and have some information.What are you going to do?How are you going to present that?Don’t design it for them.We teach them not to think.
- What would you change?
- How could you do it differently?
- ALWAYS…How can I help you?
- Get them to return and report.
- End by letting them know you have faith that they can do it.
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