The work of the psychologist in preparing children for school

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Enter the terms you wish to search for. I’m going to go on a bit of rant now. I just can’t hold it in any longer. I see parents doing this constantly and it’s killing me because they know not what they do and they are actually hurting their children’s development. It’s praise, that’s what I’m talking about. Now I know what you’re thinking: “What?

If I had a dollar for every time I hear that, I would be a rich man today. What’s the problem with “Good job? Well, it’s lazy praise, it’s worthless praise, it’s harmful praise. It has no value to children, yet parents have been brainwashed into thinking that it will build their children’s self-esteem. Plus, it’s the expedient thing to say. Let’s start with the purpose of praise: to encourage children to continue to engage in positive behaviors that produce positive outcomes. Now you can start to see the problems with “good job!

It doesn’t tell children what precisely they did well and without that information they can’t know exactly what they should do in the future to get the same outcome. Unfortunately, many parents have been misguided by the “self-esteem movement,” which has told them that the way to build their children’s self-esteem is to tell them how good they are at things. Unfortunately, trying to convince your children of their competence will likely fail because life has a way of telling them unequivocally how capable or incapable they really are through success and failure. The reality is that children don’t need to be told “good job! They do need to be told why they did well so they can replicate that behavior in the future to get the same positive outcome. Research has shown that how you praise your children has a powerful influence on their development. The Columbia University researchers Claudia Mueller and Carol Dweck found that children who were praised for their intelligence, as compared to their effort, became overly focused on results.

Too much praise of any sort can also be unhealthy. Research has found that students who were lavished with praise were more cautious in their responses to questions, had less confidence in their answers, were less persistent in difficult assignments, and less willing to share their ideas. Children develop a sense of competence by seeing the consequences of their actions, not by being told about the consequences of their actions. Based on these findings, you should avoid praising your children about areas over which they have no control. This includes any innate and unalterable ability such as intelligence, physical attractiveness, or athletic or artistic gifts. Particularly with young children, you don’t need to praise them at all.