I chose an article I found on the internet on the website Psychology Today titled In Praise of Frustration, by Bruce Poulsen. I had taken a look at several different articles, but this particular one I felt I could relate to course material and concepts I have learned thus far. The American Psychological Association had published new research suggesting that praising children for their personal qualities rather than their efforts towards a situation has a tendency to undermine feelings of shame. The study had shown that children with low self-esteem in particular were more susceptible to feelings of shame and self-doubt when they were praised in a situation for their personal qualities such as kindness or physical appearance rather than actual effort or ambition towards a goal or task. A report in science daily had said that these types of behaviors I had just referred to can actually backfire on the parents or caregivers. Parents may think it’s harmless to encourage their children with praise to dismiss a fail or crisis, but in fact it actual is detrimental to the child because they might take it as though they are unworthy and are only valued when they succeed. Studies have indeed shown that inflated self-esteem leads to poor grades. A benevolent view is that parents want the absolute best for their kids so they tend to baby them emotionally to try to take on their stress’s and loses as their own and empathize with them. Maybe we should keep it real with children and not set them up to fail so that we can normalize the process of autonomy. We might be sending the message to them that something is wrong because we are in emotional pain and that is maladaptive thinking. We may need to praise of children for managing frustration successfully or even discuss and assess a situation in which the child experienced frustration or pain (Psychology Today, 2/18/12).
I could relate this article to numerous course topics discussed thus far in the class. The first course topic I will relate the article to is Erik Erikson’s 8 stages of psycho social development, particularly pertaining to stage 2, which is autonomy vs. shame & doubt. Erikson’s stages of development were series of stages with specific crisis or challenge. Erikson viewed these stages as developmental tasks. However, to transcend from stage to stage, one does not have to master one challenge or task to get from one task to the next (notes. 2/13/13). These series of stages last throughout the lifespan development. Stage 2 which is autonomy vs. shame and doubt, describe this article perfectly. This is exactly what I thought of when I was reading the article the first time. Autonomy vs. shame and doubt is during 18 months to 3 years of age(text, 186). During this time the toddler realizes that he is a separate person with his own desires and abilities. Parents at this time will guide their children to do things for themselves and if they do not, either by being under controlled or over controlled, will have children who feel forced, shameful, or doubtful about their own abilities and impulses in life. The autonomy part comes in when children have established the fact that they can do things on their own and do not need their parent to complete it. Now in relation to the article, if the parents are consoling their child at every point during the day and never allowing them to experience pain or hurt, the odds of shame and low self-esteem being present in later life are greater than if the parent let the child experience the pain or frustration and move on and not make it such a big deal (notes, 3/6/13). The next topic I will relate the article to is the concept of self-conception. Self-conception is a cognitive construction that reflects the child’s level of mental development and a social construction that reflects the child’s interactions and experiences with others. This is their way to evaluate judgments about...
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