Article: Raising Successful Children

This article covers a lot of the things we talked about over dinner a few weeks ago like– letting the kids take risks, not praising too much (or praising the method not the genius) and just generally stepping back to allow the kids to make their own choices and decisions. 

There are a few things she writes about that I am not too keep on– like the insistence of schoolwork, but overall– I liked it.  A worthwhile read. I posted a few quotes that I liked below the link to the article. 

Raising Successful Children
This may seem counterintuitive, but praising children’s talents and abilities seems to rattle their confidence.”

The happiest, most successful children have parents who do not do for them what they are capable of doing, or almost capable of doing; and their parents do not do things for them that satisfy their own needs rather than the needs of the child.”

The central task of growing up is to develop a sense of self that is autonomous, confident and generally in accord with reality. If you treat your walking toddler as if she can’t walk, you diminish her confidence and distort reality.”

When we do things for our children out of our own needs rather than theirs, it forces them to circumvent the most critical task of childhood: to develop a robust sense of self.”

“It is psychological control that carries with it a textbook’s worth of damage to a child’s developing identity. If pushing, direction, motivation and reward always come from the outside, the child never has the opportunity to craft an inside.”

A loving parent is warm, willing to set limits and unwilling to breach a child’s psychological boundaries by invoking shame or guilt. Parents must acknowledge their own anxiety. Your job is to know your child well enough to make a good call about whether he can manage a particular situation.” 

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8 thoughts on “Article: Raising Successful Children

  1. The third and fourth quote stood out to me. I'm so amazed at how D and E love to do things by and for themselves.- dress, bring plates to the table, walk, wash hands, put stool away after using it, ..more. They love to at lest try, then ask for help.

  2. I liked what the article said for the most part. I wonder about the idea that you shouldn't praise your kids too much – haha, you could probably see THAT coming, Meredith! The reason I say that is that my parents really didn't praise us kids much at all. I may have been the one who got the most praise since I got the best grades and played the piano well. Did it make us try harder? Don't think so. And that's probably why we tended to praise Jeremy & Angela so much. Did it make them just coast rather than try harder? Don't think so, but they would be the ones to answer that question. Maybe I read the article wrong? Mimi

  3. I do think of you as a heavy praiser! I think our philosophy is to praise the process and effort, not abstract genius or general “smartness.” I think kids need to understand the “how” of what they did that we think is worthy of praise, so they might be able to repeat it. And that is what is important to me.

    Here are two pieces that I like that speak toward “how” we praise and I think is how Jeremy and I are approaching praise with our children:

    The trouble with bright kids: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/11/the_trouble_with_bright_kids.html

    And the other one “The right mindset for success”– here is quote I liked, “So what should we praise? The effort, the strategies, the doggedness and persistence, the grit people show, the resilience that they show in the face of obstacles, that bouncing back when things go wrong and knowing what to try next. So I think a huge part of promoting a growth mindset in the workplace is to convey those values of process, to give feedback, to reward people engaging in the process, and not just a successful outcome.”

  4. Haven't looked at the links yet and maybe they answer my questions. I'm a simple person and having a hard time seeing the practical result of this type of praise. A real life example would help:). Thanks!

  5. The links both give real life examples!

    a.) You are far from simple, Mimi.

    b.) Grandparents have the privilege of the “anything goes” rule, which includes but is not limited to: the giving of gifts, the doling out of sweets, wrestling and and lavishing them with praise.

    c.) This post and its thinking about praise was in NO WAY meant to diminish your choices as a parent. If I had thought you did a poor job raising your kids I don't think I would have married your son;)

  6. Well, we're awful glad you DID marry our son:). But I did not take it as a judgment for our parenting; I do want to honor yours and Jeremy's philosophies as much as possible, however, I sometimes can't control the Mimi uber-pride in them (and you two)!

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