Today’s Table Talk offers some encouragement to moms and dads in the trenches as we try to equip rather than enable our kids. All of the articles (which be sure to click the links for full reads) were sent to me by fellow MOATs. So happy reading … as if you have nothing better to do :) And keep on sharing. It puts wind in all our sails.

Very interesting article in The New York Times, Sunday Opinion – Raising Successful Children:

In a typical experiment, Dr. Dweck takes young children into a room and asks them to solve a simple puzzle. Most do so with little difficulty. But then Dr. Dweck tells some, but not all, of the kids how very bright and capable they are. As it turns out, the children who are not told they’re smart are more motivated to tackle increasingly difficult puzzles. They also exhibit higher levels of confidence and show greater overall progress in puzzle-solving.

This may seem counterintuitive, but praising children’s talents and abilities seems to rattle their confidence. Tackling more difficult puzzles carries the risk of losing one’s status as “smart” and deprives kids of the thrill of choosing to work simply for its own sake, regardless of outcomes. Dr. Dweck’s work aligns nicely with that of Dr. Baumrind, who also found that reasonably supporting a child’s autonomy and limiting interference results in better academic and emotional outcomes.

Their research confirms what I’ve seen in more than 25 years of clinical work, treating children in Marin County, an affluent suburb of San Francisco. The happiest, most successful children have parents who do not do for them what they are capable of doing, or almost capable of doing; and their parents do not do things for them that satisfy their own needs rather than the needs of the child.

Next, a hilarious, yet so true, Publishers Weekly blog post: Yes, It’s Boring. And, No. You Can’t Do Something Else. I mean really … the title says it all! Its about young interns and summer employment.

Alphabetizing, while vital to the store, is oh so boring to the adolescent mind. This is always what I have kids do first. I know it sounds cruel, but the picture book section is usually the section that teens are the least familiar with, and checking that all the books are in alpha order is a great refresher. I encourage staffers to really take their time with this task and to stop and peruse any and all books that look interesting as often these forays can turn into handsells weeks later. There is a method to the madness, but kids often cannot tolerate this task. The first teen who worked for us said after a scant five minutes, “Can I do something else? I’m bored.” Wow. No was the answer that time, and every ten minutes thereafter until she feigned a migraine an hour later and went home, for the rest of the summer.

Training people, especially teenagers, can be a challenge. Often we are someone’s first job and there is a lot of responsibility that comes with this. I try to make the job seem fun while still imparting the responsibilities needed to actually succeed at a job. I’ve noticed that many kids have only been told that they’re doing a great job at everything they do, so to be told by someone that their effort is lacking comes a surprise to them. Luckily, the kids who’ve been in this situation have risen to the challenge and become very strong workers.

Inspiring FB share:

Northland College (NZ) principal John Tapene has offered the following words from a judge who regularly deals with youth.

“Always we hear the cry from teenagers “What can we do, where can we go?”….. My answer is, “Go home, mow the lawn, wash the windows, learn to cook, build a raft, get a job, visit the sick, study your lessons, and after you’ve finished, read a book.  Your town does not owe you recreational facilities and your parents do not owe you fun.  The world does not owe you a living, you owe the world something.  You owe it your time, energy and talent so that no one will be at war, in poverty or sick and lonely again.”  In other words, grow up, stop being a cry baby, get out of your dream world and develop a backbone, not a wishbone.  Start behaving like a responsible person.  You are important and you are needed.  It’s too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday.  Someday is now and that somebody is you!

… and speaking of FB, we have the latest in the Cleaning House Monthly Giveaway! Check out the new banner (up & to the right), click on it, “Like” the moatblog on FB, SHARE the opportunity to “Like” … and have your name entered to win this month’s $100 Visa gift card.

Congratulations to MOAT Elizabeth for winning last month’s give-away!

Thanks for walking the road with me.


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