We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I have always asserted here that "feeling good about oneself" can only come from doing right things and from doing hard things. Even so, we all deserve plenty of criticism and nobody deserves to think that they are wonderful. (We are allowed to think that of others, however, or at least to love others despite their flaws.)
One of my sons, in 2d grade, had the "honor" of being "Superstar of the Week" a few weeks ago. "
"Alright! Way to go! What'd you do?"
"It was my turn."
Two weeks later, one of my daughters came home with a "Certificate of Achievement" with all sorts of happy cliches on it. She had been struggling with taking tests and really put in some work to improve. We had noticed before she got this "award", so I was extremely happy for her to see the teacher noticed.
"See what hard work does for you?"
"But everybody got one."
I went from pissed to sad in no time flat.
So where are the lawsuits for professional malpractice?
The very bad result of lavish praise for kids by their teachers is that it drives a wedge between kids and parents if the parents don't agree that the child is deserving of it. Difficult spot for the parents when the child proudly brings home an award that every other child has also received. Do you create a cynic or do you go along? Of course lots of kids figure this out for themselves which also breeds cynicism.
Alas, I have a granddaughter that is drowning in empty praise heaped on her by a family of school teachers on my sons inlaw side. I must have heard "good job!" exclaimed at their house by the various participants at least a million times so far, with no end in sight.
OTOH, when and where I was reared, no child ever received any encouragement or praise - parents thought praise would make the child soft and that criticism would make the child do better and be better able to survive the next Great Depression.
Somewhere, I would think, there is a compromise between the two extremes.
We have bred a generation of supremely self-confident incompetents.
Failure, in its various degrees, is a fact of life but one must be aware that one has failed in order to learn from it. The Supremely Self-Confidents (SSCs) aren't aware of their failures because they are always congratulated, or otherwise rewarded, just for breathing.
Success in life may be 80% "just showing up" but one must do something more even after one has mastered that simple bit. It is in the remaining 20% that we face and learn form our failures and slowly build the experience of success.
Good judgement is what we learn from experience. Experience is that thing we get immediately after we needed good judgement that was lacking. Unless the feedback loop is defeated by false praise.
What a shame we've shutoff this important feedback loop.
Juan - set expectations appropriately high. When expectations are exceeded praise or otherwise reward. When expectations are not met let them know and, when appropriate, punish. It really isn't all that difficult.
Once upon a time a teacher asked the class what rules they had at home. My daughter responded that we really didn't have rules for her. The teacher expressed doubt and displeasure which provoked a family discussion at dinner. e came to realize that, in fact, we really didn't operate by "rules". There were, of course, instructions; for example, "be home by 10:00PM" as they headed out the door. Or "do your homework before you go to Katie's" or "call us when you get there". But they were not hard and fast rules that applied in every situation - they were instructions appropriate to the situation.
It was my daughter who hit upon the fact that it was expectations we imposed rather than rules. Our daughters were expected to do as well as they could possibly do with their school work. They were expected to behave properly and to not cause us, themselves, or anyone else trouble. There were high expectations and, therefore, rules were not required.
Love that sentence, Knucklehead ... "We have bred a generation of supremely self-confident incompetents." That's where all those OWS-ers came from! Unfortunately, it's not the first generation of them we've bred. Good judgment comes from bad judgment my Dad used to say. And I can confirm that.