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Po Bronson: The Problem with Praise

Eighty-five percent of American parents believe it’s important to tell their kids they’re smart. And 85 percent of American parents may be wrong.

In recent years, the self-esteem movement born in the 1960s has run into some serious opposition when it comes to scholars who think about raising kids.

You think telling young sons and daughters they’re brilliant, wondrous, smart, smart, smart is a gift? Maybe not. Newer research suggests that encouraging kids to strive, to try, to grow is the way to really fire up their engines. That a shower of praise can be paralyzing.

This hour On Point: kids, self-esteem, and the caution not to praise too much.

Guests:

Po Bronson, writer, social documentarian and author of numerous articles, novels and non-fiction works including What Should I Do With My Life? His latest piece is the cover story of New York Magazine: How Not to Talk to Your Kids: The Inverse Power of Praise

Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford, and author of Mindset

Bob Younglove, Vice President of the National Association for Self-Esteem.

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 6, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves as he speaks before a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 3, 2015. Since Republicans took control of Congress two months ago, an elaborate tug of war has broken out between GOP lawmakers and Obama over who calls the shots on major issues for the next two years. (AP)

Netanyahu’s speech. Hillary Clinton’s email. Obamacare back at the high court. A stunning start to the Boston Marathon bombing trial. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Mar 6, 2015
"The Sellout" is novelist Paul Beatty's new book. (Courtesy Farrar, Strauss & Giroux)

Author Paul Beatty’s novel “The Sellout” is a satirical look at race relations in America. He joins us.

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Mar 5, 2015
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Are American women being prescribed psychiatric drugs – anti-depressants, anti-psychotics — for normal emotions? We’ll hear out one psychiatrist’s bold claim.

 
Mar 5, 2015
A car passes a memorial for Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by Ferguson, Mo., Police Officer Darren Wilson last summer, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Ferguson. A Justice Department investigation found sweeping patterns of racial bias within the Ferguson police department, with officers routinely discriminating against blacks by using excessive force, issuing petty citations and making baseless traffic stops, according to law enforcement officials familiar with the report.  (AP)

The big Justice Department report finds a pattern of racial bias in the Ferguson Police Department. Now what? We’re back in Ferguson – and beyond — for answers.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Answers To Your Questions On Black Holes
Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015

Yale University’s Priyamvada Natarajan answers your black hole questions in full. (Well, most of them.)

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Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

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Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

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