This question came up because of a troubled young man that is learning Karate from Wade. Wade and I were talking about this boy, a bully who presently is using his Karate mostly to learn be a better bully...Not a good thing at all.
It suddenly occurred to both of us that the boy is in deep pain. He must be; I have been learning about rage, and the trouble that it can cause in one's life. I made the connection between my rage, and how I have learned to vent it appropriately. Wade and I realized that "James" must be even more full of rage than me. I use a punching bag; "James" uses other boys to punch and kick. How horrible he must feel inside!
So we had a revelation: "James" feels so bad and angry inside that he has crossed a line somewhere, and it has become necessary for him to vent his rage directly at weaker boys. We want to help "James"; we realized that perhaps praise, simple praise, of his smallest good actions in Karate Class, might start turning him around....Our rationale is this: when "James" does his Karate punches and kicks, if he shows his anger, he should be encouraged to continue to vent his anger in this appropriate way.
We all like praise, I believe. I think it can be wonderful to be appreciated and encouraged. It is nice when we step out of our "comfort zones" and take risks, and people notice and back us up, and say, "Wow! That was great! Good for you!"
But the flip side is a little dark.
We cannot live for praise. We have to mostly learn to praise ourselves, and to not expect praise for every thing we do right.
Remember, I ask this because poor "James" has a terrible, terrible home life. I know this because I sat down and listened to him talk, and he described such loneliness and neglect that I now know why he has turned to the dark side. Wade and I want to help.
What do you think about the subject of praise? So...Where do we draw that line? When is it right to praise? When is it right to be happy about praise? Or is it right at all?
Thanks in advance,
Jai (and Wade)
Bless your hearts! You're right; it's all about building up his self esteem. Perhaps, the only time anyone pays attention to him is when he does something wrong & negative attention is still attention. Is there violence in the home? Most bullies are victims first. This combined with fear & pain is often the starting point & the bully persona emerges. Praise is a starting point; but be careful. Most experts would advise not too & there have been numerous articles written regarding this subject. For the most part I tend to agree with the research; but each child is unique ; what may harm one child; benefits another.. IMO, in these circumstances, I disagree with the experts --- I think this child needs to hear words of praise. Your words of Praise will Lift him Up.
You are already doing the right thing by engaging him in conversation & he's beginning to open up to you. Your building trust & "trust" will be a challenge for the three of you. Keep asking questions. Just listen to him; show compassion; but do NOT judge & do NOT tell him he is wrong or what he should have done. Tell him when he's doing something "right". Acknowledge good actions/behavior - let him know; encourage it/him. If he behaves in a negative way - do not react and do not criticize.
I don't remember my parents ever praising me. They built my self esteem through unconditional love, encouragement, support, appreciation & expectation. This kid needs love more than praise, more than anything. What about a hug? Will he allow you to touch him? You might have to go slow - only touching his hand at first. Wade should pat him on his back & do it often, if he allows it.. He can put his arm around his shoulder & the longer he will allow you and Wade to do this; the more he will trust & heal. You already know about all the positive health benefits from a hug by now; but did you know the average hug is only 2 seconds in duration - strive for 20 to 30 seconds. A hug benefits the hug-er and the hug-ee equally. He needs to know what loving touch & a heartfelt hug feels like. Good Luck.... You have the opportunity to change his life.... Listen to your heart & you will know what is best.
answered 16 Feb '12, 11:55
well if he bully other you need to show him the way so that he use is strenght to protect himself and other in balence and harmony. then praise will come naturally. you cannot praise someone for no good reason that is called hypocrisy. and one should not need to be praise to do the right thing it should come of his own accord. experience and enjoy.
answered 15 Feb '12, 01:08
Praise (when due) is necessary in all situations; especially if a person is suffering from "low self-esteem." Many psychological states in life consists of low self-esteem showing up as rage, jealously, resentments... Praise is a stepping stone to build good "self-esteem and a good feeling of well being." weaving through the psychic of a person; as an aid to improvement.
answered 15 Feb '12, 07:08
That's tricky.. not sure what I would do in that situation.
I don't think praise will solve a lot, but I think its a good step. I think I would try to find qualities that I liked in him... and encourage and praise him in those areas. As for the negative aspects, I would try to reason or talk with him... but start slow. Like, gentle pushes in the right direction, and hopefully he will follow. But I would only praise the things I agreed with... even if it makes him feel good, he's still got a lot of issues regarding his parents and that will probably bear pretty hard on him.
Maybe get him a punching bag and have him 'practice' on it for ten to fifteen minutes as a part of his session? (If he doesn't already use one) Maybe it will help him release some of his pains and frustrations like it does for you.
answered 15 Feb '12, 01:17
Simple praise will only work if the person giving the praise is really sincere and giving it deep down from the bottom of his heart. If he is just giving praise for the sake of giving praise, then it is not difficult to see why it might sometimes backfire when the person you are praising realize it.
answered 15 Feb '12, 11:10
Praise alone can be very dangerous...
Parents must clearly understand their roles in their child’s character development process.
To instill integrity in their child’s personality and values in their life, nothing is more effective than leading by example. Children will only be permanently impressed by their parent’s living loyalties: telling them what is good and what is bad is not enough, they must be led by their parent’s good example.
All of us who give our lives to see that our children and grandchildren have success in theirs, must give our loyalties ONLY to those philosophies, values and people who are clearly committed to making the home life and environment the cradle of civilization it has always been, and always will be.
answered 15 Feb '12, 09:13
If you are seeing this message then the Inward Quest system has noticed that your web browser is behaving in an unusual way and is now blocking your active participation in this site for security reasons. As a result, among other things, you may find that you are unable to answer any questions or leave any comments. Unusual browser behavior is often caused by add-ons (ad-blocking, privacy etc) that interfere with the operation of our website. If you have installed these kinds of add-ons, we suggest you disable them for this website