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Dining Skeptically - Are you a praise junkie?

  • Jan 12, 2013 · 5:00 PM
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I recently read an article that fascinated me. It's all about our need to praise our children because we feel that it will help build their confidence. But studies are finding that this constant praise is actually leading to a poor moral compass and a need to please. This seems ok as our kids are young, but the article argues that this can lead to a praise junkie as a teenager. This can be dangerous when our children are faced with the tough decisions like whether or not to take drugs. It seems this behavior can lead to giving in to peer pressures. But beyond that the studies are overwhelming when you look at what happened when they tested performance and perseverance in intelligent children. It definitely led me to rethink how I talk to Eisley.

I would like to discuss this article and what I have been discovering in the way I change my behavior and interaction with her. Are you a praise junkie or not? And do you think that the idea of altering how we approach intelligence and persistance is worth a second thought?

About Dining Skeptically:

We began Dining Skeptically in order to add another element to our meetups. We wanted a forum to discuss current skeptical parenting topics. Each month we choose a new cuisine and a new topic. Past topics have included the Santa myth: do we or don't we, the ideomotor effect, cold reading, alternatives to the Boy Scouts, perpetuating gender roles and studies alleging that children are happier with religion in their lives (we discussed whether it was the religion or the community.)

I ideally want the format to be a potluck dinner where while we eat we debate the topic. Afterward we choose a new topic for the next month. Kids are always welcome. I always have kid friendly food on hand and a large playroom. The kids range from 10 months to 5 years old. Please feel free to email me with any questions regarding the dinners or if you have a topic that you would like to see come up at a future meeting.

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  • Rachel D.

    Laura- Was it the one about self esteem is ruining our kids?

    January 11, 2013

  • Cari

    If you are up to an hour+ drive: Sam Singleton Atheist Evangelist will perform CATS, SHEEP AND GOATS, A Taxonomy of Atheists, Believers and Preachers at Riverside UU Church, Fri Jan 11, 7 PM. Free admission with requested donation of $10. Brother Sam filled the Steve Allen Theater in LA for the CFI Feed Your Brain lecture series last Sunday. This is a different show. See for more info.

    We've moved the event into the larger 'sanctuary' to accommodate a bigger crowd.

    January 11, 2013

  • Laura R.

    Rachel, great topic. Was the article you are referring to in The Atlantic? If not there ran a cover story on the same topic about six months ago which was really fascinating.

    January 11, 2013

  • Rachel D.

    Thanks Irl! I'll check that out before January! ;)

    November 26, 2012

  • Irl S.

    I just read "How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character" by Paul Tough, right up that alley.

    November 26, 2012

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