Jul 30, 2009

The Not-So-Obvious Roadblock: Praising

Most of us instantly recognize why Criticizing, Threatening, Name-Calling, and Diverting (withdrawing or using humor) make it onto the list of the 12 Communication Roadblocks. However, I am often asked why "Praising" is a roadblock to communication.

Contrary to the common belief that praise is always beneficial to children, it often has very negative effects. A positive evaluation that does not fit the child's self-image may evoke hostility: "I am not pretty, I'm ugly." "I hate my hair." "I did not play well, I was lousy."

Children infer that if a parent judges positively, they can also judge negatively someo ther time. Also, the absence of praise in a family where praise is used frequently can be interpreted by the child as criticism: "You didn't say anything nice about my hair so you must not like it."

Praise is often felt by the child as manipulative--a subtle way of influenceing the child to do what the parent wants: "You're just saying that so I'll study harder."

Children sometimes infer that their parents don't understand them when they praise: "You wouldn't say that if you knew how I really felt about myself."

Children are often embarrassed and uncomfortable when praise is given, especially in front of their friends: "Oh, Dad, that's not true!"

Children who are praised a lot may grow to depend on it and even demand it: "You didn't say anything about my cleaning up my room." "How do I look, Mother?" "Wasn't I a good little boy?" "Isn't that a good drawing?"

1 comment:

  1. I'd like to present my view also over it. No doubt praise is the most courageous part of every bodies life. Everyone deserve it but in some other conditions. Always some conditions definitely would be there.
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