Praise Junkie or Feeling Good for Taking Personal Responsibility

March 12th, 2014

by Katrina Brooke

Are we raising a society hooked on praise? Perhaps you know someone who doesn’t feel whole…doesn’t experience happiness…unless they are receiving acknowledgment from the outside.

Do we want our kids dependent upon the praise of others, or do we want them guided by a voice of personal responsibility residing in their hearts and their heads?

Far too many parenting and school discipline approaches rely on changing behavior by consistently providing praise and tangible goodies.

While occasional praise is fine, do we set our kids up for difficulties when we overdo it?

Life guided by an internal set of ethical principles…and a strong understanding of cause and effect…is far more likely to produce confidence and joy than a life dependent upon the fickle opinions of others.

Take the following quiz to see whether you are creating responsibly independent kids…or praiseaholics:

  1. When      my kids succeed on a task, I recognize their effort and their good      feelings…rather than telling them how happy it makes me.
  2. I      demonstrate that I love them, even when I don’t necessarily love their      behavior.
  3. I      allow my kids to see me resisting peer pressure…rather than always trying      to project a perfect image.
  4. I      provide praise rarely…and only when they have done something truly      praiseworthy.
  5. My      kids often overhear me talking about how I make my decisions based on my      own beliefs…rather than seeing me make decisions based on what      “everybody else is doing.”
  6. I      allow my kids to make affordable mistakes and learn from them…rather than      constantly telling them what to do.

The more “yes” answers you gave, the more likely your kids will learn to resist peer pressure and lead lives where their happiness is based on doing the right thing rather than trying to please everyone.

In our CD Shaping Self-Concept, Jim Fay gives parents and teachers the tools they need to help kids learn to look for their strengths and become motivated, confident, and proud.  Kids who will be able to keep going when the tough gets going and see themselves as winners.


Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.

Dr. Charles Fay

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