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Showing posts from June, 2010

The Four Ways We Teach Our Children to Lie

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A mom recently told me she had been using praise to motivate her three-year-old daughter to stay dry through the night. If the little girl awoke each morning with a dry diaper, her mom would praise her. One particular morning the child apparently took off her diaper and brought it to her mom to show the great results and receive her praise. But later that morning, mom found the REAL diaper that was worn that night–hidden in the child’s bedroom and wet!

I don’t normally support praise, although the exception can be when working with toddlers and preschoolers. Praise can be effective when teaching something new that may be difficult for very young children to master. Praise can give them confidence and motivate them to cooperate with you. The acceptable form of praise in these cases is in expressing delight for your child’s accomplishment but avoiding labeling them as a good boy or girl. Adults must be cautious because the side effects of this praise can be motivation to do whatever it…