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December 22, 2015

True Praise, False Pride

shutterstock_150593741“My problem with the Grand Canyon is Americans are too proud of it for my liking. The Grand Canyon was like that when they found it! And’s it’s not like it was hard to find.”
(Ed Byrne)

If you’re like me, you’ve already experienced some Christmas-themed reunions with extended family this week, and you’re likely to experience a few more as the week goes on.

Here’s a challenge for us all: When family and friends marvel at our kids’ growth, accomplishments, adorable smiles, whatever, try to avoid taking any credit. At all.

There are plenty of times for us, internally, to evaluate our own parenting and feel moments of pride at our own growth. But this holiday season, try something else when Aunt Gertrude comments on your son’s dimples, or your daughter’s good grades:

“That’s very kind of you to say–I’m just so glad I get to watch him/her grow up.”

Yes, we are among the most powerful influences our kids will ever know. But the second we start accepting accolades, that influence turns sour.

Refusing to receive credit can be quite a challenge, especially for folks like me, who are prone to an insecure quest for approval. But that’s what makes it a challenge! Next week, I’ll let you know how I fared.

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