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The Difference Between Self-Esteem And Self Righteousness
to the jungle. The quest is
to raise a kid that has a good sense of self.
You've been told that praise is the key but be careful because what
you haven't been told is that this key can also open the door
to a pack of troubles if praise is the only thing you do!
Praise, like any tool for raising kids, can be used inappropriately. Praise tends to imply attaching a value to a child for demonstrating particular behaviour. However, children are valuable and should be loved for the mere fact that they exist. Even though there is a connection, there is also a difference between valuing children and facilitating appropriate behaviour. While it is true that children who are valued tend to behave and perform better, children who are only praised and whose misbehaviours are not dealt with, tend to believe everything they do is all right and that the world revolves around them. This in turn leads to the development of self-righteousness.
can best be described as an attitude about oneself.
It is characterized by a feeling of being important to the
exclusion of anyone else, so that what the child wants or feels or does,
counts for everything above anyone else.
Kids with this kind of attitude tend to be bossy, telling others
what to do, or loners because no one else can measure up. While valuing a
child is absolutely important for the development of a healthy sense of
self, praise without direction, feedback and consequences, turns out to be
a prescription for a self-righteous attitude.
than self-righteousness, self-esteem is the true prize to be sought in
terms of a child's healthy sense of self.
Self-esteem is relational. With
self-esteem the child not only feels good about his or herself
individually, but also in relation to others.
Self-righteousness is egocentric while self-esteem is social.
with healthy self-esteem understand and respond to limits. They feel good
about themselves at no one else's expense.
These children tend to be kind and considerate.
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
is a child-behaviour expert, a social worker, and the author of Raising
Kids Without Raising Cane. Gary not only helps people get along or feel
better about themselves, but also enjoys an extensive career in public
speaking. He provides insight on issues ranging from child behaviour
management and development; to family life; to socially responsible
business development. Courts in Ontario, Canada consider Gary an expert on
matters pertaining to child development, custody and access,
family/marital therapy and social work.
For information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane, click here.
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