"It made me wonder about how we praise our kids and how we confuse unconditional love and unconditional approval."

Thus begins a piece on the Huffington Post entitled "Do You Substitute Praise for Parenting?" by Judith Acosta.

Can I possibly say or write more about this subject than I have already? You know, about the parents who think good parenting is to falsely boost a child's self-esteem by basically lying to them, telling them that everything they do is great and praiseworthy, regardless of the reality, ensuring the development of a tragically unrealistic narcissism in their offspring? You know, the same parents who also mistakenly think that playing soccer with their kids is more loving than letting their kids decide on their own what they want to play... with other kids?!

Why do they do it, all this boundary-less over-involvement and baseless praise? What's the motivation in these parents to basically gut their children's realistic sense of self? Is it love?

Listen up - NO! Not at all.

Unconditional praise has nothing to do whatsoever with unconditional love.

Here's an excerpt from Acosta's article:

"Safety is everything to a child. It allows him to grow, to question, to create, to make mistakes, to actually become empowered, to learn and finally to understand the workings of the world so he can function and build new relationships outside the family. Unconditional praise or approval is, by definition, the absence of limits, standards and expectations. And if there are no limits for a child, there can be no safety."

Get it? What these parents are conditionally burdening their children with are the unmet, unworked-on needs from their own childhood, needs that as adults should be tended to through some intensive self-work, which I have said emphatically should be a prerequisite for parenting.

Happy Sunday!

And thank you, Judith Acosta.

And to all of you prospective parents who refuse to do the work on yourselves? Get a dog!

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