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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Feelings need to be under intellectual control

By John Rosemond




Why children have such difficulty thinking straight, with impulse issues, choosing responsibility

JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) How they raise their kids is a touchy subject for lots of parents. When I was growing up, it was said that one should not engage in discussions of religion or politics. These days, engaging in conversation concerning how someone raises their children is just as likely to end the relationship as a discussion of their religious or political beliefs.

The further problem is that anti-intellectualism is in the air. In The Iron Lady, the aged Margaret Thatcher, as portrayed by Meryl Streep, becomes quite agitated when her physician asks her how she's feeling. She reprimands him, noting that it is a person's thoughts, not their feelings, that truly count, that truly reflect the character of the person.


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Indeed, feelings are functional only when they are under intellectual control. When the opposite is the case, when feelings rule thought processes, irrational thinking and behavior are the inevitable outcome. Furthermore, when feelings rule, facts become irrelevant. Examples abound of widely-held beliefs that have little if any basis in fact. To the believers in question, that makes no difference. They FEEL, and that's enough for them.

I recently came across a study showing that when adults praise ability, performance actually worsens. Praising effort, on the other hand, raises performance over time. This is the difference between telling a child he's really good at math and telling a child you're proud of how much effort he put forth studying for the math test (irrespective of his grade). Over time, the former child's math grades are likely to go down, while the latter child's go up.

Apparently, ability-based praise causes the former child to believe he is entitled to good grades in math, no matter his effort. So, he does less and less. This finding just goes to show that regardless of context, entitlement is corrosive. It does not bring out the best in people and may in fact bring out the worst, including increasing demands for more entitlements.

The interesting thing about the research in question is that when the researcher informed parents — who tend, in general, to believe praising ability is good — of her results, the majority dismissed it, became defensive, or flat out told her they didn't care, they were going to keep right on telling their kids how wonderful they were.

That's irrational. That's a prime example of the axiom that when a person "thinks with his feelings," he does not think well. Here we have parents for whom facts are irrelevant. They won't even consider them. They think that they, and only they, know what's best for their children, not some academic. That's not true, of course. It is difficult at best for parents to be objective. The purpose of research-based information is to help them make better decisions. Granted, not all research is equal. Some is garbage, but this particular study was not.

Why didn't the study's results cause parents to reconsider their praise policies? Because giving praise made them feel good, and receiving praise made their children feel good. As the refrain of a popular 70's tune put it, "Feelings, nothing more than feelings." They rule the day.

For more than forty years, parents and schools have put more emphasis on children's feelings (i.e., making them feel good about themselves) than their thoughts. This is why so many of them have such difficulty thinking straight: choosing responsibility over irresponsibility, delaying gratification, holding back the wild horses of their impulses.

It's bad enough when children operate on the basis of feelings. It's potentially catastrophic when their parents do as well.

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John Rosemond is a psychologist, family therapist and nationally known expert on parenting issues


Previously:


Parents, stop destroying the American male
Don't confuse fulfilling a child's 'needs'with being an overprotective parent
Parents without borders
Today's parents frustrated with lack of instant gratification
Parenting resolution revolution
Ignore your kids
Success stories of parents setting boundaries
Parenting 101 in session (Conclusion)
Parenting 101 in session, Part I
'Gifted' children, who aren't
Get away from 'psychological thinking'
What do today's children seriously lack that children in the 1950s and before enjoyed in abundance?
'Fixing' Son's Shyness
Mothers who fall short --- by design
To tell a child 'You can be anything you want to be' is irresponsible
Family 'democracy' can turn to tyranny
'Because I said so' signals strong parental leadership
It's time for parents to get their heads out of the '60s





© 2011, The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.). Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.