The Risk of Rewards

Here it is again. Another article trying hard to educate parents on the dangers of praise and rewards.

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I pulled out one of my all time favorite books today The Art of Encouragement; Human Relations Training and skimmed through several chapters. Now, of course, I have to go back and read the whole damn book. It is just so good.

Here are just a few snippets I pulled out that focus on Encouragement which of course, is the remedy for a culture addicted to praise and rewards.

  • Encouragement focuses on strengths.
  • Encouragement is believing in ourselves.
  • Encouragement conveys faith in a person no matter how well or poorly things go.
  • Encouragement focuses on effort or improvement while praise focuses on outcome.
  • Encouragement challenges us to develop our potential while praise threatens us to do what is expected.
  • Encouragement can be given anytime.
  • Encouragement frees us to be our unique selves. Praise obligates us to obey authority.

Encouragement is an art form. It is subtle and powerful. It can be present at all times and can influence the direction of any situation, as soon as, it is activated.

I know how hungry parents are for ways to show their love, support, confidence and faith in their kids. And I know, with as much information readily available, that breaking the addiction to praise and rewards is still a daily challenge.

If you haven’t already committed to creating an encouraging atmosphere in which to raise your kids, take a few minutes and examine the decision you are making about praise and rewards in your child’s life.

If you find that you are ready for more ways to introduce encouragement into your family, let me know and I will write more about it. Learn more about the Parenting On Track program.

5 thoughts on “The Risk of Rewards

  1. Would love to get the book “The Art of Encouragement” — who is the author? I couldn’t find it anywhere.

  2. The book was put out by the University of Georgia. Georgia Center for Continuing Education, Athens, Georgia. I picked it up a dozen years ago at a conference. I’m not even sure you can order it, but give it a shot. V

  3. After doing a little Googling I believe I came up with the author, Timothy D. Evans. While I didn’t find the actual book, I did find a website for his practice and a ton of articles on Adlerian psychology and encouragement….

    Some specific article references:
    The Art Of Encouragement

    Encouragement in the Family

  4. This is a great framework for encouragement. Unlike rewards it’s not an easy implementation, not something you can do casually like rewards. But not only is it more effective, it has much longer term benefits around confidence and independence.

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