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chunk Psychologist Stephen Grosz wrote a book entitled The Examined Life in which he claims children who are excessively praised actually do more poorly in school than their peers. He cites a number of studies to bolster his claims, and it’s nice to have my shitty parenting finally validated by science.

I have a degree in history, and I’ve based nearly all of my parenting strategies on time-tested and proven practices. As I understand it, in the past fathers rarely praised their kids. Maybe if they did something truly exceptional they would get a hardy handshake or a pat on the back, but that was the extent of it.

The result was that kids worked doubly hard to prove themselves because they not only wanted daddy’s validation but also secretly wanted to throw their success back in the old man’s face while telling him to suck on it.

Now, people pay overpriced therapists a hundred bucks an hour to listen to them whine about their daddy issues instead of using his cold indifference as motivation.

Do you think if Hitler’s parents had praised him every day, he would have grown up to be a war hero and a dictator?

If Stalin’s dad hadn’t been an abusive drunk, do you think the Man of Steel would have had the nerve and resolve to climb to the top of the Bolshevik power structure?

Chairman Mao hated his father so much that once while having his enemies tortured he joked that if his father was still alive, he would do the same thing to him.   Actually, he was probably serious.

The evidence here isn’t just compelling; it’s overwhelming. If you want a successful kid, you need to lay off the touchy-feely nonsense. And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go vandalize my dad’s tombstone.

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