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Elizabeth Spitzer

Expressive Ideas, LLC

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What impact do you imagine if positive recognition and appreciation were expressed in the ~home~ in a public way so others could see?

Positive recognition affirms us. In a family, where we come from - what impact do you imagine positive words of recognition and appreciation for: the efforts we make, things we do, or who we are, can have on a family, an individual, and/or a child?

IF you feel like taking this one step more ... assuming you have concluded that it would be a good impact, how do you imagine it would affect the future of that person?

Is positive recognition and appreciation a powerful thing to you?


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    Jan 29 2013: Based off of the empirical evidence seen around helicopter moms and the scoreless sports leagues. It would appear the kid gets a sense of entitlement without any sense of exchange or accomplishment or effort.

    I would say giving a kid a false sense of worth or esteem is as bad as a false sense of low self esteem.
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      Jan 29 2013: Thank you Pat. Since I was not raised with a heli-mom and am not one myself (much to the dismay of some parents I have met) I had not thought along those lines.

      I appreciate your perspective. Everyone who has commented is giving me great stuff to think about. Thank you. :-)
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        Jan 30 2013: I see this as a cultural problem, the manifestation of the nanny state and the attendant lawyers as well as 100 years worth of memes coming from the Pavlov types. Hmm the chicken or the egg...
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          Feb 1 2013: Hi Pat,

          I am blessed to have a psycho-therapist for a mom and she has a breadth of experience; from family counseling, marriage counseling and working with youth inside of our military bases (worldwide). I mentioned to her the views of yourself, and Bob, and she concurred. The language is the key: praise vs appreciation. Praise vs 'positive' recognition.

          Praise is defined as: to express approval or admiration of; commend; extol (verb).
          Appreciation is defined as: gratitude; thankful recognition (noun)
          Recognition is defined as: the acknowledgment of something as valid or as entitled to consideration. Or, the acknowledgment of achievement, service, merit, (noun)
          (footnote on definitions. there exist more than one, I chose these to be most applicable ... :-) )

          I suspect that you, and the others, worry about unearned and misplaced praise. My mom admits that this IS becoming a problem in our youth and it is leading to social development problems, which may or may not translate into their adulthood. It is something that is growing in our workplaces too. Or, as someone else exampled, our volunteer programs.

          My questions rests more on the words: appreciation and positive recognition. They seem to define: that a person has evaluated, or considered, the action, or person; determined it, or them, to have earned, or been found worthy of, expressions of merit. I believe that is why appreciation and positive recognition can be so powerful. Perhaps we intrinsically know that to receive those expressions, it has been determined to warrant such expression.

          What are your thoughts?

          I think of Pavlov a lot ... especially with trying to bring up kids! What follows what ... :-)
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        Feb 2 2013: Actual communication, nice.

        I prefer to think of it as an acknowledgment or a reward. It reality you control people with the acknowledgment. If someone is not willing to do something he is not going to do it. But if you treat them with respect and understanding and good communication they will climb Mount Everest for you.

        The key I think is to acknowledge the act or accomplishment. The danger is in acknowledging them for just being there or praise for nothing.

        This actually is quite ubiquitous, a few examples:

        Getting paid for being there and not what you produce. Getting paid time and a half for being there longer and probably because you were slow. The pay is the acknowledgment but not for production as it should be but for "being there"

        Sports without keeping score. The acknowledgment is for being there not for winning. Life is a game and there are definitely winners and losers. Learning how to win is one of life's most important lessons. And the academics say sports are superfluous, when I look at them I can see why they say that.

        Welfare and unemployment extension. The acknowledgment is for being non-productive. Let alone workers comp or disability. The country is turning into a bunch of marshmallows.

        If I guy comes up with a great invention that raises the standard of living of everyone he gets taxed to death. The acknowledgment is not only if you are dysfunctional we will take of you but also if do something excellent we will punish you.

        If you stand out from the collective also know as peer pressure we scorn you. The acknowledgment is scorn for not fitting in, so the collective has stated that there must not be any prejudice of any kind. The problem is that this has gotten to the point that you cannot evaluate the value of anything as this can be interpreted as prejudice. The problem is that this makes people stupid as one of the primary requirements of intelligence is the weighing of things.
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      Feb 2 2013: Pat and Elizabeth,
      Your exchange started with Pat's comment...."I would say giving a kid a false sense of worth or esteem is as bad as a false sense of low self esteem."

      I agree with this statement, and everything you both have written, as this perspective evolved. I also agree that a sense of entitlement is emerging in our culture....perhaps based on the fact that kids are given a false sense of worth, and are not required to put any effort into the process.

      This seems sometimes difficult to balance, because we want to encourage and support people in the life journey, and let them know that they are valuable without "weighing of things", as Elizabeth says, so sometimes we may go overboard with praise and forget to reinforce the piece about cause and effect? Actions and consequences? If we consider these elements, which I think are important, there IS a "weighing" process, by which we consider the "value" of something/someone.....yes?

      My perception is that we can offer each other all the elements with respect, appreciation, consideration, authenticity and honesty. I believe that we can incorporate all the "tools" necessary to support balance......WHEN we are genuine, authentic and honest....which, of course is another "tool" we can pass on to others:>) What do you think?
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        Feb 2 2013: A fundamental teacher is the culture.

        The government has perverted the culture to one of entitlement.

        As I stated earlier the key is the acknowledgment and the examples I gave.

        And the key to that is acknowledging the accomplishments not the person.

        A big factor is that the free market forces in objectivity not subjectivity as then the individual attention is extroverted rather than in the case of the entitlement introversion. Extroverts have their attention on the objective which puts them at cause introverts have their attention on themselves which puts them at effect.

        Examples of this are ubiquitous:

        Hollywood is filled with the Paris, Lindsey, Kim types who are addicted to attention which puts their attention on themselves and puts them at effect which is the primary reason they auger. This is the primary malady with all of the child stars who become effect through this simple mechanism

        The current POTUS is also effect through this mechanism.

        The movie Spinal Tap a parody of rock stars and how crazy they get with this addiction to attention and being effect. In one scene one of the musicians was very insistent that they have M&M candies of only a certain color in the dressing room.
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          Feb 2 2013: Pat,
          I agree that culture, and what is accepted and/or rejected by the culture certainly influences behaviors within the culture. I do not agree that the government has, all by itself, "perverted the culture". After all, we, as citizens are part of the government.....yes?

          I agree that it helps to seperate the person from the accomplishments, and that is a difficult perception to embrace, although very possible:>) My mom always said....love the man...hate the behavior.....so as a child, I learned to seperate the behavior from the person. It is not, however, an easy concept to embrace if one is not regularly exposed to it. We, in our society, can certainly continue to encourage it:>)

          I do not agree with your perception of extroverts/cause...introverts/effect. I believe those who exhibit extrovert OR introvert behaviors can ALL experience the concept of cause and effect. I personally tend to have BOTH extrovert AND introvert behaviors at different times in my life, and I can tell you that the lesson of cause/effect/consequence was firmly taught to me, understood, and embraced as a child:>)
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        Feb 2 2013: Yes the government absolutely influences the culture and has created one of entitlement through welfare, the CRA and owning a house is a right, WIC, medicare, student loans, and a alphabet soup of other benefits. As one who voted for Obama this is something you do not understand. As to we are the government yes that is true and I suppose the most evil there is is the the entity that no one takes any responsibility for which government is the embodiment.

        The introvert/extrovert thing is specific to the subject. E.G. Celebrities are obviously extroverts but but their attention is on themselves.

        Your disagreements are duly noted.
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          Feb 2 2013: Dear Pat,
          I DO understand what you are talking about....I have read MANY of your comments:>)

          I take responsibility for MY PART in the government process, and that's all I can do. It doesn't really help to talk about what everybody else is doing....nor is it relevant to me to try to determine where celebrities attention is focused. We do not KNOW what is going on in the mind and heart of other individuals, and anything we try to project is simply speculation.......in my humble opinion:>)

          I sincerely hope that my AGREEMENTS are duly noted as well:>)
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        Feb 2 2013: Little of it is speculation.

        The most evil there is is collectively or individually complacency. I know this does not apply to you as your efforts in this area are remarkable.

        Other than that I will agree to disagree except on what we agree upon which is duly noted as well.
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          Feb 2 2013: I agree...complacency is generally not very usefuil:>)

          Thanks for your kind words, which are duly noted and appreciated:>)

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