Compliments Can Be Dangerous


Some children are told over and over how great they are – better than anyone else at everything they do and the most important person around. In many cases these compliments are nor real. They are not based on the true behaviors or accomplishments of the children. If we could read their thoughts, we would learn that these children often don’t really believe the complements. They know in their heart of hearts that they are not true. This is what many adults have said they thought when they thought back to when they were children being treated like storybook princesses (or princes). They have said they came to not believe all the false compliments or trust the “perfect” life that was being created around them. Some of the things they have said they believed instead were:

 

  1. I don’t really know how to take care of myself.

  2. I depend on others to take care of me, but I’m not sure they will come through for me in the end.
  3. No one really cares about me unless I am a standout performer – the most handsome, smartest, or best student, athlete, dancer, etc. which makes the adults I depend on look good.
See our next post on December 8 for ideas about how to help your children avoid these thoughts.