Just being yourself isn’t all that special, writes Jeffrey Zaslow in the Wall St. Journal. He blames Mr. Rogers for “telling children they were ‘special’ just for being whoever they were.”
As educators and researchers struggle to define the new parameters of parenting, circa 2007, some are revisiting the language of child ego-boosting. What are the downsides of telling kids they’re special? Is it a mistake to have children call us by our first names? When we focus all conversations on our children’s lives, are we denying them the insights found when adults talk about adult things?
He quotes a post on a Yahoo Answers site discussion thread:
“Mr. Rogers spent years telling little creeps that he liked them just the way they were. He should have been telling them there was a lot of room for improvement.”
College professors complain that too many students think they’re entitled to an A for mediocre work because everything they do is special.
Some parents have so much trouble setting limits they hire parenting coaches to dispense common-sense advice, reports the Boston Globe.