Talk 75: To Praise or Not to Praise Children: What Should Parents Do?

(No reviews yet) Write a Review

Set of 3 Audio CD's

(Duration: 4hrs) 

Education and psychology are continually offering new theories to parents and teachers on child development.  One such theory, developed in the 1970’s, involves praising children to improve their self-esteem, confidence, motivation and performance in school. Followers of this “self-esteem movement” believe it produces children who will go on to form a better, more positive and productive society. Opponents of the movement, however, hold that praising children leads to psychological problems. Before this movement, praising children was not common in Western society, and there are cultures in which praising children is considered harmful. Who then is correct?

In this talk Father Kosmas uses the lives and teachings of various saints and elders to examine whether the self-esteem movement is compatible with Orthodoxy and whether it has had a positive or a negative effect on society. Furthermore, he helps parents and teachers understand that the teachings of the Church do not change, and that they should trust these teachings more than the ever-changing theories of the world.

The following questions are also discussed: why did the saints strongly desire to be ridiculed and abused? Is avoiding praise only for the saints? Why did Saint Paisios feel sick when people praised him? What did Saint Paisios say causes nervousness in children? What did Saint Porphyrios mean when he said that people accept lies about themselves as their daily nourishment? How can parents protect their children from becoming sick egotists? If humility unites us to God, what does egotism unite us to?

Other points covered in this talk include: an account of a mother who was responsible for her son’s sick sense of self-confidence; how parents encourage their children to believe untrue things about themselves; how Saint Porphyrios’ mother never praised him and how this affected him; why children today are left weak and drained of strength when their will is opposed; how today’s children continually seek praise and applause; and how Facebook can hinder progress in the spiritual life.