Raising A Generation of Wimps
Last week someone posted something very interesting in our forum. He shared how at a recent volunteer camp for kids, they had an award ceremony for all of the children. The organising committee, which he was a part of, decided that every kid would receive an award. Even kids who had been trouble makers. This was so no one would feel left out.
Sometime ago, someone posted something very interesting in our forum. He shared how at a recent volunteer camp for kids, they had an award ceremony for all of the children. The organising committee, which he was a part of, decided that every kid would receive an award. Even kids who had been trouble makers. This was so no one would feel left out.
He cited the example of a child who was excruciatingly stubborn. At the end of the camp, he received an award for being “tenacious”. Another kid who was consistently naughty got a “playful award”.
This raises a few interesting questions. Are we raising a generation of children who think they are never wrong? Are we dissolving the meaning of praise by offering it up to easily? And are we cheapening good behaviour? Isn't it natural for a kid to wonder, "what’s the point of being good if even naughty kids get an award?"
By praising kids for every little thing they do, even wrong things, are we not just sending out the message that praise is not earned, it is an entitlement. Are we also not raising a generation of little emperors? Who think they are never wrong?
Worse still, by praising our kids for every little thing are we not making it that little bit harder for them to identify their true talents? The fact remains that no one is good at everything. We all have our strengths and weaknesses? Isn't it important to identify our abilities from a young age? Do we really want to raise a generation of kids who study Mass Com at Poly, become restless at their first job, quit, go on to pursue a business degree, then get a masters in chemistry and upon graduating, decide to become a pilot?
I say nip bad behaviour in the bud. Don't reward it. Calling a stubborn child tenacious seems like silly word play. To misquote Shakespeare, "a thorn by any other name is still a thorn". As much as you wish calling it a rose, ain't gonna make it a rose!
It's important to call it as you see it, if a child is defiant, it's important to let them know that their behaviour is unacceptable, and you won't tolerate it. It's better to hurt your child's "feelings" now, then risk him growing up into a self-centered little tyrant!
Of course that being said, I do believe that there are ways to discipline kids, and spanking or screaming at them is definitely not the way to go. Gentle rebuffs, taking away privileges, time-outs and modified grounding are safer and healthier bets.
Molly-coddling or rewarding bad behaviour? Sorry, but not in my house.
What do you think? Am I being too harsh? Am I being too soft? I want to know your thoughts.
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