Sunday, March 15, 2009

'Bringing up Children' - Perhaps Society needs to be relook @ 'Spare the Rod Spoil the Child' Christian concept.

Warning over narcissistic pupils
By Katherine Sellgren BBC News, at the ASCL conference

Dr Craig said restricting criticism undermined learning
The growing expectation placed on schools and parents to boost pupils' self-esteem is breeding a generation of narcissists, an expert has warned.

Dr Carol Craig said children were being over-praised and were developing an "all about me" mentality.

She said teachers increasingly faced complaints from parents if their child failed a spelling test or did not get a good part in the school pantomime.

Schools needed to reclaim their role as educators, not psychologists, she said.
Dr Craig, who is chief executive of the centre for confidence and well-being in Scotland, was speaking at the Association of School and College Leaders conference in Birmingham.
Negative characteristic

She told head teachers the self-esteem agenda, imported from the United States, was a "a big fashionable idea" that had gone too far.

She said an obsession with boosting children's self-esteem was encouraging a narcissistic generation who focussed on themselves and felt "entitled".

They (schools) are not surrogate psychologists or mental health professionals
Dr Carol Craig
"Narcissists make terrible relationship partners, parents and employees. It's not a positive characteristic. We are in danger of encouraging this," she said.
"And we are kidding ourselves if we think that we aren't going to undermine learning if we restrict criticism.
"Parents no longer want to hear if their children have done anything wrong. This is the downside of the self-esteem agenda.
"I'm not saying it's of no value… but you get unintentional consequences."

Parental responsibility
Since 2007, there has been a statutory responsibility on schools in England to improve pupils' well-being and primary and secondary schools are increasingly teaching social and emotional skills.

Indeed it is possible that Ofsted inspectors will soon appraise schools' performance in this area; and well-being could be one of the measures used in the school report card system that the government wants to introduce.

But Dr Craig told head teachers that this was not the role of schools.
"Schools have to hold out that they are educational establishments," she said.
"They are not surrogate psychologists or mental health professionals."
Learning about feelings from a professional in a classroom did not send out a positive message, she added.

And she warned there was a danger the more schools taught emotional well-being, the less parents would take responsibility.

"We run the risk of undermining the family as the principal agent of sociability," she said.


  1. If you look up the original hebrew word translated as "rod" in the english, it actually refers only to general "discipline".

    So that understanding of physical punishment as being instructed for disciplining children is an anathema of translation - not of Hebrew or Christian ethics per se.

  2. ...the Bible states to us, quote,: "He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes" (Proverbs 13:24) and "Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou strike him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell." (Proverbs 23:13-14)..unquote.

    Whilst your English intepretation refers to general discipline, the essense of the excerpt taken fron an English Bible appears to have a different slant.

    What we are reading here is perhaps the Spirit of Discipline in earnest as opposed to the physical punishment as you have indicated.


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