How not to talk to your kids -NYT


Active Member
This is really a continuation of my Thread - 5 reasons for not saying good job by Alfie Kohn. The New Yotk Times has a feaure on the ' inverse power of praise '

My impression from the article is that there is room for praise that focuses the kid on what was done , gets the kid to reflect and have a learning experience , rather than boost self esteem.
The article talks about praising the process, not the result. Myrna Shure talks about a similar idea, praise thinking not the solution or the result. The solution may be good in this situation, not in others.

The link to Alfie Kohn's article is



Well-Known Member

it can all be summarized in a little short story. Many years ago, when my easy child was a toddler, I met a wonderful woman who changed my life for the better. But, that's another story, not so short.

Anyway, she told me that one of the most important things you could do for your child was to teach them empathy for others. If you succeeded in that, everhthing else falls behind in place.

easy child and her friend are playing together, there is only one cookie. I witness easy child breaking the cookie in half and sharing with her friend. Rather than praise her for "what a good girl you are sharing your cookie" which puts the focus on her, I say "look at that smile on Salley's face, that really made her happy." The connection begins between their actions and others feelings.

Very simple to do, they catch on remarkably quick.



Active Member
good article. I was also impressed with the thought that even as adults, when someone praises us, we somehow find it insincere, think they must have a hidden agenda or something. we learn sometimes that praise means someone wants something or is trying to butter us up.