Kids and Constant Praise

Geez, I’m listening to a discussion on the radio about kids receiving blanket praise and constant reinforcement being actually hampered by it later in life. They seem to be talking about me.
All I heard when I was young was that my talent was incredible and that I was meant for great things, and I was special, etc. So I never really tried at anything. I was special, and it was just going to happen.
Now I find myself at 41 with a lot of untapped potential, looking back on my youth and wishing that I had understood that potential means nothing without application, and wishing I had been able to set aside my unwaving belief in my being “special” long enough to have sought a little training.
Now it’s a bit late for that. I mean for seeking the training. I don’t have time. So if I want to achieve anything, it’s only going to be by finding a work-around, and getting around my limitations in regard to formal training.
But at least I think I’m finally old enough to understand that at some point you have to get off of your ass and sally forth. Otherwise whatever potential you have is squandered before you even begin.

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15 years ago

I’ve been thinking about this and there is much truth to it. As a parent, I have always wanted to praise and encourage. Isn’t that part of my job? But at what point can it cripple? Who hasn’t heard of the successful individual who thanks Mom or Dad first, for the support and encouragement. But who also hasn’t read about the person who was told…..”you’ll never amount to anything, you’re stupid and useless”. And they rise to amazing heights, even if fueled by nothing other than a desire to prove wrong those with no belief in them.
So what ends up making the difference? Individuality? Drive? Unwavering belief in yourself and your abilities…or lack there of?
Food for thought, for sure…..thanks for posting this Wic. I needed to read it. I’ve had these thoughts in the back of my mind, especially where Michelle is concerned. Like she’s waiting around on the Success Fairy to come and tap her on the shoulder, with little or no effort on her part.

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