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Are You A Praise Junkie?

Though we need to take responsibility for how we turn out as people, undoubtedly, our parents are usually the root cause of how we interact with the world, from a very early age. There was a girl in my school who nobody really liked because she was so full of herself. To protect her identity, let us just call her Lily. She had this disdainful air about her because things came too easily. I felt almost sorry for her because she was so spoilt as a child that nothing really excited her. Too much of a good thing, can be a bad thing, as the saying goes.

When my class had a school excursion, one of the stops was at a local theme park, and I absolutely could not wait to get out there and try the rides. One of our classmates’ mothers had fixed up special passes for us, since she worked there. We were all really excited when we arrived, with the exception of Lily. She said ungratefully, “It’s so small. This is nothing compared to Disneyland!” Lily was fairly oblivious to the way she was. She was born into the lap of luxury and chauffeur driven to school every day and she did not appreciate the value of things. She was not as independent as her peers because she rarely did anything on her own. Every problem in her life seemed to be solved by someone else, and any latest gadget she wanted was given to her on a silver plate.

When she started failing her subjects, that’s when her parents stepped in, to make some drastic changes to her life. They suddenly cut off her allowance. Despite the fact everyone thought this would finally help her ‘wake up’ and stop feeling like the world owed her something, I still felt sorry for this girl. In my humble opinion, her parents should have thought to disciplin their daughter long ago because she had a bad attitude, rather than just bad grades. And it was not her fault she was so spoilt. She had grown up with parents who indulged her every wish and now suddenly without word or warning, withdrawn their approval of her as well as all the luxury ‘benefits’ that went with it. Lily did not adjust well to her new circumstances. She was simply not prepared for this sudden change in her lifestyle. However, in the long run, it did make her more independent and she eventually became more sociable and less conceited.

I realise that any extreme in life is not healthy. It is not good to spoil a child to a point that they cannot deal with not having things their way. Interestingly, this also applies to how much praise a child gets. According to an article from NBC news online, Dr Ruth Peters explained how new research suggests that complimenting children in certain ways may set them up to become ‘praise junkies’ because they will start searching for approval and validation on everything that they do instead of developing an internal barometer for self-esteem and feelings of accomplishment and achievement. A friend of mine who has a three year old was telling me all about the dangers of raising ‘praise junkies’ because she had seen parents who praised their children to a point that their kids became less motivated to try so hard because whatever they did, seemed good enough.

Once, her three-year old daughter was on the floor of her bedroom doing a puzzle and there were six parts to it. When she completed the first part, her daughter clapped her hands together congratulating herself “See what I did!! Mommy, look here!” My friend’s instinctive reaction was to praise her but she held back saying, “Well, you’re actually not finished yet. There’s another five parts to it dear.” That made her daughter go back to the task of completing the whole puzzle and only then, did her mother praise her for a job well done. A study from the Department of Psychology at Columbia University in New York City discovered that, what children are praised for makes a significant difference in how they later fare when faced with challenges or perceived failures.

For instance, encouraging a child for their efforts seemed to be more productive than praising them for innate characteristics they had no control over, like being beautiful or smart because they may feel a need to preserve this image of themselves. According to research by Dr Carol Dweck, a professor at Columbia University, she said that praise, can hamper their level of risk-taking as they may choose less challenging tasks in the future to avoid making mistakes. So, if you have children, it can backfire when you overdo the praise. Encouragement uses a slightly different lingo. For instance, if your child came in first in a race, instead of saying, “You’re a born winner. I’m so proud you got the gold”, perhaps it might be better to say (so that your children keep challenging themselves), “It was all that hard work that paid off. Well done!”
June 12, 2013

10 responses on "Are You A Praise Junkie?"

  1. Listen, the nation of this land is going down, the future generation of this nation has no hope and the country itself is sinking backward. I can foresee more chaotic is coming your way, with a bunch of coo coo running the administration expect nothing but hopeless n backward culture. It is very sad to see this monkey culture like society never seem to know of how in leading the nation forward confining themselves under the well by learning nothing but primitive way of live. Leaping forward is a task needed to be well planned, and of all this planning required from those academic talent with compassion not self greed. We believes in people without people in this world there would mean nothing, be it you call yourself a queen or king or god or president. You don’t seem to understand the priority of how to lead n build the country in prosperity n leading the nation forward. You can never learn to know how coz of the culture background hasn’t been that long for you to know how. Learn from those rich culture background work with them you may still have a chance to survive or else you’re going down for sure in 50 years coming ahead. God bless this nation of your.

  2. It is so true,this nation is sinking itself backward into becoming an under developing country. Which mean a third world country, under this administration governance what a dispointing scene n sad for those future generation. The currency depreciating further n the cost of living is getting tougher n higher to each individual in maintaining their living. Household and people get robe everyday on the street n at home, women n teenage get rape in their daily living. And people get kill for some stupid reason but nothing been done to prevent this rudeless,lawless,very hopeless. People have to stand up for themselves in protecting their future been continuously ruined. Travel document like passport can only go to third world countries, restricted to first world. Diseases spreading all over the country don’t seem to be able to containing it, add on inviting more unknown diseases into this home land. Fact this country is short of all trade skilled manpower n not to mention professional, plus language deficiency is very seriously need to improve, that is the major causing of the down fall. Your national language cannot propel further in academic profession needed to change asap. Or else damage will go further.

  3. Very true I want to say, I am Indonesian living in KL for many years by seeing how Malaysia running it country is fast catching up with my country Indonesia. The cost of living is going to make a lot of people go poor and homeless and less education for the young. You see, we are very plain in our brain because of our mind is very young in our culture. We are not good in academy study and numbers but we are good at hunting and making simple food to feed ourselves. So the government is really have no idea of what they are doing in how to leading the people to prosperity. Making a lot of big mouth talk is what we are good at, but no action can be achieved. That’s why so many people in my country got very poor and very sick and hunger everyday also people are like animals rob steal, kill,corruption, extortion, kidnappings,rape,everyday. Very very sad, I hope Malaysia do not go that way of life, like my country. Also, Indonesia is not a Muslim country, is a republic and democratic like Malaysia. So do not be mislead by some backward information to confusing you and allowing them to ruing the country. These evil are costing many millions of people life because of their irresponsible ruthless action.I hope the new president of Indonesia can bring hope to the people and the same for Malaysia as well. I think our bahasa Indonesia cannot make us any smarter only bahasa English can make a persons brain smarter. I believed that very much, also there are so many good books I can pick up and read in any library and book store in English. And they are all famous authors but not bahasa Indonesia.

  4. Absolutely agree Ahmed, whoever is born on 1957, under the country constituency he or she is a native of the land. So the right of every native in his homeland are all protected and are equally to enjoy all benefit. Also this clause is bind by the UN law as well, and for those whom are resided in this country for over a certain period amount of times and has contributed good to this country. They too are entitle to received their rightful status and or citizenship in living their peaceful life in this humble land. This is a basic right to a civilize democratic to any country, only uncivilized nation have no such system in place and disrespect the Constitution which mean shame the head of state. No land are prior to own by whom, flattering yourself by making such a remark is very unwise and labelling yourself a fool. The world are watching over you by how you treating your citizen in a civilize way not by how rich your country is,from there you get our respect. Look at it now, non of this achieved for the last 50 odd years, fact is rolling way backward. If is not because of the early colonization in builded up all those small township and villages with paved road and infrastructures and proper town planing inthis land otherwise would have nothing. Put some senses into your mind, if it can be lead by you the result would have showed. We as the world can only assisting so much the rest is you yourself to work with those talented group in your land to move the nation forward. Do not limit the talented group in propelling their talent coz they are the one whom sustaining the future of this country. There are three majorities group you can’t do without either one of them, you don’t need foreign talent. You can seeded your own talent with these other two majorities, you implemented the good policies but down the line those system enforcer has some bad apples. Just needed to pick them out and put the good one in. Right now under the rating this country is been black listed and restricted. True you are 30 years in backward, but it never too late in saving yourself by starting from now. Want to know how! Go back to the colonial era start with the school system,adating English, with all subject and then your mother tongue. The learning capability of your culture is slow with your own tongue, a good study before we implemented in the school curriculum during the colonial era. These are good intention for this little nation future but you taking it the wrong way,a small minded way in jeapordizing the entire country future. It is very sad to see this nation going down to slum.

  5. Make a wish list of cars that you are interested in. You have seen many cars in advertisements and on the road.
    It should be easy for you to build a solid list of vehicles that would suit your style.
    You can add a couple of dream cars that seem out of your range; however, be realistic about what you can afford.

    Never take a car at face value. Though you may not be a mechanic, it is a
    good idea to do a thorough inspection of the vehicle. An important part of the inspection is a test drive.
    This allows you to feel the car on the road, listen for any wayward noises and possible spot issues with performance.

  6. safety n liability clauses mandatedSeptember 12, 2014 at 10:46 amReply

    Third grade parts quality, short life span,poor precision in material management, armature service n technical support, many life taken due to this poor productions. Provided with inexperineces driver suicide mission is hopeless.What you paid but you never get, inefficiency in management n administration the end result is leading people to chaos. German engineering can hardly go wrong but then again what do you understand about quality products. One needed to nurture in order to really know of how to appreciate what things are excellence products. Is a long way to reach but you will never get there, may be another hundred years only if you can make miracle. Maneuvering yourself smart don’t put your life at risk knowing it will fall apart anytime without you knowing.

  7. Histories through times always taking it toll,that’s how one culture elvole through years of trial n error. No one creature can beat through time in creating history,learn the good knowledge n ethical way of live left behind the bad n evil deed,bring it down to the future generation in that way you never go wrong. Never mix religious n school together, faith is for the soul to gain wisdom, where as school is for the mind to progressing, all creature walk through the same path in progressing civilization culture. The recent quoted by your elder former Mr M, is the fact, he’s saying the whole truth nothing but only the truth. He live to tell his experiences in statements his encounter. Remember,knowledge through time but you need to know of how to aquire them, smart culture learning things in a proper way never do short cut,slow culture learning improper will leading them into bad deed. It may takes years in learning the proper way, but is the passion lies beneath the pioneer for the good of the future generation. Always believe in nature created things has it cause in doing it round,no creature can out beat her. The same for her in abiding by the universe rules in doing her round so that we creature can live a normal earth life. The light bulb, the flying machine, the automobile, these are the invention is just to make life a little easier in connecting to these other part of the earth, but is a huge contribution to mankind. The equalities to all citizen by birth whom born on n after1957 is mandated. The rich culture groups not by wealth will help assisting in lifting the progressing of this little peninsula nation. Do not let yourself leaving behind work well with the causeway developed nation. Have compassion for the future generation in order to grow well.

  8. The musing lady,a few statement you recently penned on your column were well said. I guess the genetic played a critical role in making a mind work or rather a group of minds in working. Where you came from as your back ground in comparing to those with the same level,I must say you seeing things through and the same time digested well of what being inputed into you of what you had studied. The senior of your late folk, he will seem to come in agreeing in your thought, cause he live to tell his side of the experiences of what he has tried to achieve but over years the disappointment seem to let down on him. Being young and naive a natural path for every person but causing pain to the future generations by setting the inconstructive policy in leading them to over self center is chaos. We all believing in the tradition of one man and one woman in the union of civilized culture. For those with many heads and those against the tradition this will sure leading the society into ill fadded act,monkey sees n monkey do,lost of moral and ethics has no soul ill thought invaded the mind then evil act appeared. Do not takes other expenses for your own gain it is short lived n will not sustain. Treat your citizen of all ethnicity equally no special privileged in treatment, constructive policy always stay to stand and will prosper n lead to progressing the nation.

  9. I foresee the currency of your country will dive further in the next 12 months coming. It may hit it way down $5 to $1 against the greenback. In no way your country can turn it way back up in term of everything from economic to whatever you name it. The current administrative is running the country n it people poor n dying. I guess the people did not see this coming, but the group in the adminstration knew this will hit them sooner than they thought. Crude oil no longer in huge demand next 20 years, you’re driving yourself into slum nation n chaotic. Crime scene will be all over the country in daylights by night people will screaming for help reckless rule the society no one will be safe in their comfort zone no more.

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About Jojo Struys

Jojo Struys is an accomplished speaker, author, regional TV host and HRDF accredited corporate trainer. She is very passionate about wellness and is currently the wellbeing brand advocate for the Westin Hotels, Asia Pacific.

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