Mar 9, 2012

Good Job, Social Media

I have written about the perils of praise a few times, notably for Working Mom. My latest Rappler article is actually a reprise of Are you raising a praise junkie? published in WM's June 2010 issue.


Revised for rappler.com it's now called Stop saying good job to your kids! On the social news network, it got 147 Facebook likes, 89 Tweets and 182 shares, in less than 24 hours. This volume of response to my own work is new to me. It's pretty cool though to experience how quickly your thoughts and research can reach X amount of people in such a short span of time. That's social media for you. 

All that attention caught me by surprise, and piqued my curiosity, so I checked out what some of those Tweets were saying. 


My favorite tweet-reaction is below. Tweet-er Katie Davis: "Stop saying good job to your kids. Just don't say, You stink!" 


However, not everyone read the entire article like the funny Ms. Katie Davis. I want to note something off and... slightly annoying, actually. Some people do still judge an article by its title alone. Stop saying good job to your kids! is quite the hyperbole I admit, which is probably why some people thought this meant—
a] do not be affectionate 
b] be ambivalent 
c] be hyper-critical
d] and never, EVER praise children.

It does not.

You will see that, if you read the entire thing. If you don't feel like reading a 900-word article, that's fine. Just don't make conclusions based on the title alone. 

That's Putting Things Out Of Context. Now that's a social media problem for you. It is probably the oldest media issue ever since the invention of the printing press. The world is changing real fast, but some things remain the same. 

6 comments:

Barni said...

Really cool, Niks. :) Prudent praise is the name of the game. "Good job" is vague and one of those easy access phrases you say too often without thinking whether you really mean it. Makes me want to rerun the Working Mom article now. :)

Nona said...

Barn! Weren't we just talking about reprising this for Rappler? Though we felt it was so two years ago. But it really resonates with so many parents. I'm still surprised by the feedback. Issues in child development and psychology have to be re-visited every so often. They don't get old. Beliefs evolve.

And!

I have YOU to thank for indulging and first publishing my psycho-babble.

Mieke Zamora-Mackay said...

Your article was certainly thought-provoking. It made me stop to think about how I dole out praise to both my children. I hope my praise is seen as encouragement. However, the points you raise about the impact it has on their persistence at accomplishing their goals are so on point with my experience.

Thank you for giving me an opportunity to re-evaluate and providing me with appropriate suggestions on how to change for the better.

Nona said...

Hi Mieke! Good to know you took something from it. Always a good idea to keep an open mind, like you do. The science of children is really an interesting beat. There's so much information and research out there worth spreading. We're lucky to live in a time when decades of research have already reached their conclusions. Then again, we never stop learning : )

Nona said...

Hi Mieke! Good to know you took something from it. Always a good idea to keep an open mind, like you do. The science of children is really an interesting beat. There's so much information and research out there worth spreading. We're lucky to live in a time when decades of research have already reached their conclusions. Then again, we never stop learning : )

Nona said...

Hi Mieke! Good to know you took something from it. Always a good idea to keep an open mind, like you do. The science of children is really an interesting beat. There's so much information and research out there worth spreading. We're lucky to live in a time when decades of research have already reached their conclusions. Then again, we never stop learning : )