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Raising a Moral Child

 
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tatee View Drop Down
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    Posted: Apr 15 2014 at 4:50pm

How Do I Teach My Kid to Be Good? By Telling Him He Is Good.

 
Don't have the words? Being generous is a great way to raise a generous child.


That parents should praise a kid’s actions rather than her innate qualities is parenting gospel. Studies find that children who are lauded for their intelligence develop weaker work ethics than those who get cheered on for their persistence. The same logic would seem to apply for instilling morality in kids: Praise your child for her good deeds, and she will continue to do them. Except, as Adam Grant wrote in the New York Times this past weekend, it doesn't exactly work like that.

Grant explains why treating your child like an ethical person is more inspiring than just singling out a praiseworthy bit of behavior: “When our actions become a reflection of our character," he writes, "we lean more heavily toward the moral and generous choices.” We want to believe we do good because we are good, and hearing our goodness affirmed motivates us to keep up the good work (literally).

Grant cites a study in which 7- and 8-year-olds were doused in different types of praise. After donating some of the marbles they’d won in a game to poorer children, half of the participating kids were told: “It was good that you gave some of your marbles to those poor children. Yes, that was a nice and helpful thing to do.” The other half heard: “I guess you’re the kind of person who likes to help others whenever you can. Yes, you are a very nice and helpful person.”

Grant continues:

A couple of weeks later, when faced with more opportunities to give and share, the children were much more generous after their character had been praised than after their actions had been. Praising their character helped them internalize it as part of their identities. The children learned who they were from observing their own actions.

Last time I wrote about kids and praise, I quoted from a Nietzsche essay (which I had not read. I guess I am the type of person who quotes essays she hasn't read): “Some are made modest by great praise, others insolent.” The quote was relevant because it underscored that kudos can have varying effects depending on the characteristics of the people receiving them. (I wish the latest New York Times piece had addressed this issue.) Now, I get to quote a Nietzsche essay I have read: In On the Genealogy of Morals, the philosopher posits that there is no real difference between “being” and “doing,” between “the lightning and the flash.” And that’s sort of the theory Grant is unfurling here: that generous deeds turn you into a generous person; we are all the sum of our behaviors. (When Grant writes that “the children learned who they were from observing their own actions,” he’s challenging the idea that you can so neatly separate your kid’s intimate core from how he operates in the world.) 

And yet sometimes that separation is crucial. When it comes to discouraging bad behavior, Grant says, kids respond much better to feedback that stresses 1) sadness at the action and 2) confidence in the worthy intentions of the kid. The point is to create feelings of guilt (“I have done a bad thing”) rather than shame (“I am a bad person”) because guilt prompts amending behavior, whereas shame just makes people hide or lash out.

In a way, criticism that invokes a kid’s inner nature boomerangs for the same reason that praising her intelligence can: A parent’s estimation of character becomes a prison sentence. For children constantly told they are smart, the pressure of living up to that epithet looms large. Depending on how confident the kid is, the weight of the prophecy sometimes outweighs the thrill of getting complimented. Meanwhile, for children led to believe they harbor secret moral flaws, it’s easier to retreat or throw a tantrum than to fight the “truth.”

It may seem like a lot for parents to keep track of: Praise what they do, not who they are, unless we're talking about morals, and then praise who they are, unless they are being bad, then point out what they've done wrong, but don't shame. Of course, there are other, more straightforward ways to foster compassion in the youth, though they require more from us olds than deploying the correct, carefully spun phrase. Grant describes a famous 1975 experiment in which 140 school-age children received prizes that they could either keep for themselves or donate to poorer kids. Before they decided, though, the students observed their teacher navigate a similar dilemma with her own prize. Next, the teacher lectured the kids on “the value of taking, giving, or neither.”

By the time the students had to decide whether to act selfishly or generously, they were weighing the adult’s example, the adult’s verbal sermon, and their own codes and preferences. In this alloy of influences, Grant says, the grown-up behavior mattered most: Regardless of what the teacher preached, students who saw the adults act generously were generous themselves. Whether or not it is distinct from its flash, apparently lightning likes to learn by example.


more:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/04/15/how_to_raise_a_compassionate_child_character_based_praise_and_behavior_based.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/12/opinion/sunday/raising-a-moral-child.html?emc=edit_th_20140413&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=56912102&_r=2


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SamoneLenior View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote SamoneLenior Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2014 at 4:52pm

yeah that's usually how it goes

parents have to lead by example
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2014 at 7:20pm
Awww @ that pic
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote india100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2014 at 7:21pm
I praise my daughter daily and try to live by example . Perfect day for your topic tatee after i thought about lossing it on a white racist teacher , but i would never do that in front of my child . I filed a complaint with the district for actions while my daughter stood in tears ..
 
Why would ask a parent , "why are you looking at me like that in a nasty way" ? We have a congested crazy parking lot . I was looking back at my baby and the other children . God saved her from mrs India dragging her out the window she roll down to disrespect me for no reason . She better ask somebody . Disapprove A little girl died yersterday ,after she ran back to mother car and a parent hit her in another school .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote QueenBee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2014 at 7:29pm
Oh my India.... did the teachers not pay attention to her running off....

Yes, I kiss my kids daily and tell them I love them.    Yes, I've learned instead of showing my ass I have to put the other white people in ya life.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote liesnalibis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2014 at 7:31pm
Yeah that pic did something to me lol Cry
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote QueenBee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2014 at 7:45pm
Great article tatee...

I hate seeing parent cussing out their kids. Today at my son's baseball game, my mom had to walk over to the young mother touched her gently on the shoulder and spoke with her away from the crowd to tell her she needed to calm and stop cussing at her baby like she a stranger on the street. It's embarrassing not only for your child to have their mom clowning then in public but as a young mother with so much profanity.   

I love my mom for being one of those women who speaks up to parents.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote india100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2014 at 7:46pm
Originally posted by QueenBee QueenBee wrote:

Oh my India.... did the teachers not pay attention to her running off....

Yes, I kiss my kids daily and tell them I love them.    Yes, I've learned instead of showing my ass I have to put the other white people in ya life.
I am not sure , but parents do it all the time . Many will drop a 5 year old off with the back door open until someone yells . I am so afraid to park on that lot . On my days at the hospital i stay with my daughter until the bell rings .
 
We have 2 crossing guards in the morning that are at least 70 years of age and PV in the afternoon . I park down the street and walk in the evening . I warn the principle many times . Praying the little girl death will be a a wake up call . Parents kick the kids out in the middle of the street . I calles the police several times . smh
 
Canton police say a 9-year-old was struck by a vehicle and killed outside of Eriksson Elementary School in Canton on Monday morning.

Investigators say the girl may have tried to get back into her car as it was pulling away and was struck. 

She was transported to a local hospital where she later died.

Police are asking anyone who saw the accident to call the department at 734.394.5449.



Edited by india100 - Apr 15 2014 at 7:51pm
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Katrenia View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Katrenia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2014 at 7:50pm
As a parent I work hard to lead by example.
I don't accept the "do as I sat, not as I do" 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sunshine321511 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2014 at 7:59pm
I have seen some of my younger sisters treat their children TERRIBLE. Cry
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