Posts Tagged Acknowledgments vs. Praise

Self-Esteem and Discipline

My concern with the current self-esteem movement we see in all facets of life is that it encourages approaches that address the person, rather than the action. For example, rather than saying, “I’m proud of you for getting such a good grade,” simply saying, “Well done!” is more meaningful and sends a more empowering message. Saying, “I see you made your bed” fosters feelings of self-competence. In contrast, saying, “I’m so proud of you for making your bed,” encourages making decisions to please the parent.

Acknowledgment accomplishes the intent of praise but without the disadvantages. It fosters feelings of being worthwhile, without relying on the approval of others. The long-range effect is to engender self-confidence, self-reliance, and self-discipline, … >>>


Use Acknowledgments More than Praise

Acknowledgments and praise are not the same. Praise is judgmental and infers parental approval. In contrast, acknowledgments simply recognize.

You may ask, “What’s wrong with praise?” Although intended to be a positive reinforcement, praise creates certain pitfalls that acknowledgments do not. For example, praise is conditional upon the judgment of the person giving the praise. It is usually given because the adult feels a desire to approve some behavior. However, what is truly important is for children to receive self-satisfaction without the need for adult approval.

Acknowledgments accomplish the intent of praise but without praise’s disadvantages. Acknowledgments foster feelings of being worthwhile without relying on the approval of others. The long range effect of acknowledgments is to engender self-confidence and … >>>