Category Archives: exceptionalism

Presence instead of praise

We’ve all heard a million times that things like
– “good job!”
– awards for everything… just for showing up basically
– graduation ceremonies for graduating from pre-school and elementary school
– helicopter parenting generally
are not constructive and can actually lead to narcissism. Or at least looking for more external praise and direction.

I had not heard it framed this way, which I liked:

“So, this year, I am vowing that I won’t let praise replace presence. Whether we are talking about her soccer game or the homemade music box she hopes to create, I want to tune into her stories, engaging her in conversations about the things that are important to her. Instead of responding with “That’s great!” I can ask her how she decided to create a homemade music box, and the materials she thinks are needed. When I remember to ask these questions, she always leans towards me, hungry to open up and share what’s inside her mind.”

seems like this wording “presence vs praise” came from this book

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Filed under exceptionalism, praise, talent vs skill

The problem of innate talent and competitive youth sports as a ticket


“[O]ver the years we’ve run into parents who really push their kids. They love their kids but they want to ensure that their kids are going to be successful. And they somehow get bought into, “sports is a ticket.” There’re studies that have shown that it’s very hard to try to predict athletic talent. There’s just a study done in Europe like with 4- or 5,000 tennis players and judo players at the junior level. And there wasn’t a very good correlation between being a junior-ranked player and being a senior-ranked player.”
– Only a Game on NPR
Dr. Dan Gould, the Director of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University, spoke with Bill Littlefield about the implications of recruiting kids.

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Filed under exceptionalism, sports, sports and outdoors, talent vs skill