Posts Tagged ‘Encouragement’

“Finally, Maslow gently railed against the conformist ideology of the times. We can learn one key lesson from self-actualizers, he said: fulfillment in life never comes from following the crowd, but only from being faithful to one’s yearnings and talents. Social adjustment should never under no circumstance be seen as a way to happiness: rather, the path may lie in resisting prevailing values. As he often asked rhetorically, ‘The question is–adjustment to what?’ p. 216

The Right To Be Human, Edward Hoffman

There is a lot of evidence that supports the use of Choice Theory and other Third Force Psychologies that focus on maintaining and improving the relationships. Especially staying away from external control psychology (Rewards and Punishment) and instead making use of encouragement (not praise) natural and on occasion logical consequences (4R of a logical consequences). There is a lot of confusion over what constitutes “emotional attachment”. Choice Theory, Adlerian Psychology, Person-Center Therapy, all offer helpful ideas of how to stay connected to the important people in our lives. For instances, empathy is a way to provide understanding and therefore belonging to those we love.

Although, I think the quality of time is as important as the amount of time with our teens. You can spend a lot of disconnecting time with our teens, children, and spouse (deadly habits). In addition, being overly focused on the need of our teens, not only develops self-centered human beings, but also takes away their self-confidence and ability to leave home.

Tampa Tribune, September 11, 1997.
Secure teenagers don’t take drugs

A Washington Post report
Teenagers who have strong emotional attachments to their parents and teachers are much less likely to use drugs and alcohol, attempt suicide, engage in violence or become sexually active at an early age, according to the largest-ever study of American adolescents.
The study, published in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association, concludes that feeling loved, understood and paid attention to by parents helps teenagers avoid high-risk activities regardless of whether a child comes from a one or two-parent household. It is also more important than the amount of time parents spend at home, the study found.
At school, positive relationships with teachers were found to be more important in protecting teenagers than any other factor, including classroom size or teacher training.
Researchers also found that young people who have jobs requiring them to work 20 or more hours a week, regardless of family economic status, are more likely to use alcohol and drugs, smoke cigarettes, engage in early sex and report emotional distress.
While the amount of time spent with parents had a positive effect on reducing emotional distress, feeling connected to parents was five times more powerful. And this emotional bond was about six times more important than was the amount of various activities that teenagers did with their parents.

1.From birth on, children form beliefs about their self-worth.
2. Praise and encouragement are not the same thing. Praise rewards a child for performed acts (performance base esteem) Encouragement conveys acceptance of a child for the mere fact he or she exist. “When things go poorly you will always have a place” (authenticity). It separates the deed from the doer.
3. The differences between encouragement and pressure are substantial.

Specific ways to encourage young children:

A. Look for strengths.
B. Divide large tasks into smaller, more manageable ones.
C. Provide opportunities for each child to contribute. Give real jobs.
D. Avoid regularly doing for the child what the child can do for herself.
E. Recognize effort and improvement.
F. Demonstrate learning from mistakes. Have the courage to be imperfect!
G. Simply enjoy being with your child as they are.

Your specific applications of encouragement:

1. One of my child’s assets is:
2. One way I can give him a real job is:
3. Other ways to encourage:

“A child needs encouragement like a plant needs water.”
–Rudolf Dreikurs

Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. It is the result of long and patient effort in self-control. Its presence is an indication of ripened experience, and of a more than ordinary knowledge of the laws and operations of thought.

A man becomes calm in the measure that he understands himself as a thought-evolved being, for such knowledge necessitates the understanding of others as the result of thought. As he develops a right understanding, and sees more and more clearly the internal relations of things by the action of cause and effect, he ceases to fuss and fume and worry and grieve, and remains poised, steadfast, serene.

The calm man, having learned how to govern himself, knows how to adapt himself to others; and they, in turn, reverence his spiritual strength, and feel that they can learn of him and rely upon him. The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Even the ordinary trader will find his business prosperity increase as he develops a greater self-control and equanimity, for people will always prefer to deal with a man whose demeanor is strongly equable.

The strong calm man is always loved and revered. He is like a shade-giving tree in a thirsty land, or a sheltering rock in a storm. Who does not love a tranquil heart, a sweet-tempered, balanced life? It does not matter whether it rains or shines, or what changes come to those possessing these blessings, for they are always sweet, serene, and calm. That exquisite poise of character which we call serenity is the last lesson culture; it is the flowering of life, the fruitage of the soul. It is precious as wisdom, more to be desired than gold – yea, than even fine gold. How insignificant mere money-seeking looks in comparison with a serene life – a life that dwells in the ocean of Truth, beneath the waves, beyond the reach of tempests, in the Eternal Calm!

“How many people we know who sour their lives, who ruin all that is sweet and beautiful by explosive tempers, who destroy their poise of character, and make bad blood! It is a question whether the great majority of people do not ruin their lives and mar their happiness by lack of self-control. How few people we meet in life who are well-balanced, who have that exquisite poise which is characteristic of the finished character!”

As A Man Thinketh by James Allen

What is the consequence of being a “good student?” Is it to be a leader, to contribute, or is it simply to have glory? Who benefits from such a good student? Do parents feel successful because their child makes good grades compare to other children. It may be time we change. If a student knows more, is it for his or her glory or could we make it for the greater service of others. Too often, we want our kids to make good grades to increase our status as parents and for them to be better than other students and this, in our competitive society, is almost pathological. If I am better then I am higher, and I look down on you. When do we emphasize that school is an opportunity to learn how to give back, to provide a greater service to others? School is to learn so we can contribute so society not to be better than others.

What is the consequence of our ability grouping? Gifted Classes? Are we raising a bunch of intellectual snobs and teaching our children how not to cooperate with each other?

The honor student is most vulnerable because she basis her whole existence on her intellectual and academic superiority and if she ever comes into a situation where she can’t be the best she may collapse. Good students are not good because they want to be good but because they want to be better. Schools could be places where we teach our children to cooperate and contribute instead of learning how to compete and discourage. Schools could enhance a students belonging instead of pitting student against student, teacher against students, and parents against children. It would require a cooperative learning atmosphere where every one has a place.

“People simply do not know the facts of life. Anyone who tries to find a place for himself will never find it, regardless how many degrees, regardless how much money, power, beauty, success, he may have amassed. Because unless he first realizes that he has a place by his very existence, if he doesn’t realize this, no attribute, no conquest, no skill, no achievement will give him the feeling of being good enough. Whatever he may achieve, it may not be good enough or enough of it, or whatever he may have gotten he may lose it.

It is this aspect of our society which makes us so neurotic, living in a neurotic society. As I pointed out in some papers, psychotherapy, counseling means fundamentally to extricate the child and the adult from the faulty values of our society, which we fortify in our colleges and our school more and more. This over-ambition which we instill in them which inevitably leads to a sense of failure. “If I can’t be the best, I am the worst.” And the schools contribute directly to the neurosis of our students. The harm which we are doing to our students is indescribable. It is hard to believe what goes on that people don’t see.

I remember one case of a 12 year old girl. The mother came and said, “She doesn’t apply herself. She doesn’t do well enough.” Actually, the child wasn’t too much interested in studying and she would barely do her homework. And I spoke with her. And I immediately realized what it was. The child was over-ambitious and so I asked her to tell me, “You don’t feel you are good enough for this school?” “No.” “Why are you not satisfied?” “I could be better.” “Well how good do you think you have to be to be good in your class?” And after a little prodding it came out, “I think perhaps the first or second in my class would be good enough.” And when I told it to her mother that she has to learn to be good enough as she is, she said, “The teacher who complains to me that my girl is not working up to her capacity is in the subject that my girl got an A-. Please, it was not good enough because you could have made an A+. The whole approach which we have in our classes stirring up this false ambition that if you can’t be the best academically, scholastically, athletically, then you have to switch to the useless side.

These mental tortures, and particularly at universities, are growing a generation of people who have to find their place. It is hard to believe what can go on without anybody crying out loud, “Let’s stop ruining our kids. Let’s stop giving them the feeling that they never can live up to what we the parents, the schools expect from them.” Dr. R. Dreikurs Social Interest in Children