Saturday, July 26, 2008

What's the Right Way to Praise Kids?

This is one of the most important question when we need to use praise to our kids as a form of motivation. I've learned this in my Educational Psychology class and I find this helpful to share it you becuase my classmates who already have kids also find this interesting. 

Good answers to this question come from Jennifer Henderlong Corpus and Mark Lepper, psychologists who have analyzed over 30 years of studies on the effects of praise (Henderlong and Lepper 2002). They determined that praise can be a powerful motivating force if you follow these guidelines:

• Be sincere and specific with your praise

• Praise kids only for traits they have the power to change

• Use descriptive praise that conveys realistic, attainable standards

• Be careful about praising kids for achievements that come easily

• Be careful about praising kids for doing what they already love to do

• Encourage kids to focus on mastering skills—not on comparing themselves to others

In addition, it’s important to be sensitive to your child’s developmental level.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Effects of Praise

What scientific studies reveal about the right way to praise kids? 
By Gwen Dewar, Ph.D.

In many cultures—-like China-—praise is rare. People worry about the effects of praise. That too much praise will inflate the ego...make people too big for their britches.

This seems to be an ancient concern.

Modern-day hunter-gatherers—-people whose life-ways most closely resemble those of our ancestors—-are famously intolerant of big egos.

It used to be that way in the West, too. But today things are different. Westerners praise each other all the time. And Western parents praise their kids all the time.

Why? Because we think that praise is going to make our kids better—more motivated, more confident, more inclined to tackle challenges.

But does it really work that way?

Well, yes. Praise can be a powerful form of encouragement. For instance, moms who praise their preschoolers for their good manners have kids with better social skills (Garner 2006; Hastings et al 2007).

But in some cases, praise can actually undermine your child’s motivation.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Be Careful...

We had this song in the class that I usually teach to my students. I teach them this song to remind them to be good, becuase the Lord is looking down on every actions that they make. Here's the complete lyrics of the song.

Be careful little eyes, what you see (2x)
For the Lord God above is looking down at you,
So be careful little eyes what you see.

Be careful little ears, what you hear
Be careful little tongue, what you say
For the Lord God above is looking down at you, 
Be careful little (ears, tongue) what you (hear, say)

The song is such a beautiful song to remind kids about telling the truth and trying to be careful about their actions. But this song goes for us too. Let us also be reminded with our lives as we model our kids to grow into the person the Lord wants them to be. There are a lot of things we wanted them to do, but are we also evaluating ourselves, our actions? Please be reminded that the Lord God above is looking down at you...