Monday, April 19, 2010

The Praise a Child Should Never Hear

I was pointed to this topic by an article in the latest Scouting magazine. I found a linkable article over at The Wall Street Journal - The Praise a Child Should Never Hear. The core of the information is found in this paragraph:

Mr. Bronson highlights a study of 400 fifth-graders conducted by psychologist Carol Dweck and a team at Columbia University in which the children took three tests. The second test purposely was made difficult enough that every child failed. What the scientists found was that kids who had been praised for their effort recovered from that failure by the third test to achieve scores 30% higher than on their first test. Meanwhile, the students who were praised for their intelligence had scores that were 20% lower. Ms. Dweck’s conclusion: You should praise children for qualities they can control, like effort. Those praised for their innate brainpower might develop the sense that hard work isn’t necessary.

The Scouting magazine article took a different angle in describing the tests. I would link the article but apparently the print issue is out faster than the articles hit the 'net:

The first test was simple, and all the students did well. Afterward, half the student received person praise ("You must be smart at this."), while half received process praise ("You must have worked really hard.").

Those simple words made a world of difference in subsequent rounds. When students got to pick between easy and hard tests, most of the person-praise group picked an easy test, but 90 percent of the process-praise group picked a hard one. Moreover, the process-praise group enjoyed the harder tests, while the person-praise group worried that failure would make them look less smart.

I found the information interesting as a parent and as someone who works with the youth. One of the scientists conducting the study states in summary -

"Person praise gives you no recipe for facing challenges or recovering from setbacks," Dweck said. "Process praise is about what you do to be successful, so it's informative."

This appears to be an approach worth trying.

Monday, November 30, 2009

BYU Animation - Student Academy Award and Emmy Winners

BYU's excellent animation program continues to receive awards. You can read about the program and its productions at their website here.

Pajama Gladiator took first place in the animation category awarded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences while Kites came in third. Kites came in first for a student Emmy (College Television Awards) in the animation category and Pajama Gladiator took second.

I enjoyed both films and thought others may enjoy them as well. I wish the BYU Animation shorts were more easily available for viewing.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Halloween Costumes from 3 years ago

Shoot, while I'm at it, why not post a Halloween picture from three years ago. The only part of these costumes not made by Amy are the lightsabers and the Darth Vader mask.

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Last Year's Halloween Costumes

Shame on me! I didn't post pictures of the kids in their Halloween costumes last year. I hope what they are is apparent.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Washington County Fair - The Ribbons are In! (Part 2)

I guess blogger limits the number of pictures in a post so I had to divide my fair post.


Deveny colored this Tinker Bell picture and got a second place ribbon for it. She got a first place ribbon for a T-shirt she colored (also Tinker Bell - see a pattern?).


I got into the fair game this year and entered two of my photos. The one above earned a first place ribbon. It is of a yet unidentified flower I took a picture of in Palo Duro Canyon the summer before we moved to St. George.
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Washington County Fair - The Ribbons are In!

The Washington County Fair just wrapped up this weekend with everyone in the family earning some ribbons. Amy did not enter as much this year but everything she entered received first place ribbons and one earned a Sweepstakes ribbon. In total she had 6 first place ribbons and one those also earned a Sweepstakes ribbon.



This is a dress she did for Deveny. Amy actually did not think this would be the one to get her something more than first place but I like it, especially the details on the smocking.


LaVar did not think this painting had a chance but we thought it was a good one. It got a first place ribbon. He got first place ribbons on some of his pottery and a paper mache mask. A photo he took of the Salt Lake Temple earned a 2nd place ribbon. The image I currently use for this blog is a print he did in school which received a 2nd place ribbon. In total he had 4 first place ribbons, 3 seconds and 1 third.


Alonzo did this at home. I think it will have to speak for itself. He did get a first place ribbon for it. He also got a third place ribbon for his pinewood derby car he raced this year.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Has it been that long?

Has it really been that long since I last posted? We had an enjoyable hike at Pine Valley this last weekend. The trail was wonderfully wooded and needs my more personal attention at some point (no kids complaining about how far we've gone). This was a perfect activity with St. George cooking in 100+ heat.

Here are a couple of pictures from the trek.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Break

We had some out-of-towners come in for Spring Break. We enjoyed a brief hike in Snow Canyon State Park namely Jenny's Canyon (a slot canyon), with my BIL's family. Later that week we intended to take my brother and his family there but found out it was closed until June 1 (starting the day after our visit earlier the same week).

We also visited some of the best petroglyphs I have seen so far near Ivins. Some places state they are 800 year-old Anasazi petroglyphs but I question the Anasazi part. Regardless, Anasazi is not the preferred name so Ancient Puebloans may be more accurate. 800 years seems to put the petroglyphs at the end of the time of the "ancient ones". There were many there and some we didn't get to. The hike around the petroglyphs was also nice - lots of rocks for the kids to climb on.

Of course, with any out-of-town visitors to St. George, you have to take them to Zion National Park. The crowd was not too bad considering Spring Break and the weather was nice - at least, in the sun it was. It was kind of cool in the shade. There were still places in the park with snow.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Simple Joys

To my embarrassment yesterday, I realized after going to the grocery store that I had gone without a hat after one of my daughters hair styling sessions (sorry, no pictures will be provided). Thankfully, I had not received one of her more creative styles.

As I thought about it I realized how much I enjoy little moments where I'm with one of my kids just enjoying their company. It is unimaginable to think what life would be like without them. Those simple little joys add up to what makes life so wonderful.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Patrick Boivin

Here are a couple of Patrick Boivin stop motion videos I thought some might enjoy:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

St. Nicholas and St. George Snow

As part of our Belgian heritage, St. Nicholas pays the kids a visit December 6. The evening before we enjoy some yule log and the kids place their shoes out to be filled with goodies. Amy includes some yummy mirange mushrooms to place around the yule log (I think the kids like the mushrooms more than the log itself.

St. Nicholas doesn't leave too much but gold foil chocolate coins, a tangerine and Christmas tree ornament are the regulars. Included this year was peppermint coal for that little bad in all of us.
Today we had a not so typical event in St. George. It snowed enough to make a snow man. With all the leaves in the snow, it is tempting to call this snow man a leaf man.

The work was fast and furious and there was little snow left in the front or back. While the work progressed the snow started to change to rain. I am afraid the little snow we had will be a big tease for the kids who will now expect more but will most likely be disappointed.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Rising

This is a wonderful song and great video compilation. Jimmy Westbrook is the singer and it is from the album Joseph: A Nashville Tribute to the Prophet. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Post on Politics and Society Blog

Just a heads up on a new post over on my Politics and Society blog - The Pickens Plan. Yes, finally. Now, I just need to get some posting done here.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Whitney Pockets

For Memorial Day weekend we went on a little excursion to Whitney Pockets in Nevada (near Mesquite). We were originally going to go to Pine Valley but the snow on the ground deterred us.

We set up camp right next to that big rock center left (west) on the map. The first day it rained most of the time and the second day off and on but we got some good hiking in as well as some ATVing.

The sandstone rock formations were very interesting, almost other worldly. The flora included the barrel cactus and Joshua trees. The fauna was the usual desert fair - lizards, chipmunks, a Desert Kangaroo Mouse visited us during the night and a quail passed by on one ATV run.

Monday, March 03, 2008


It was interesting week that just passed. I returned from seeing my grand uncle in the hospital after a major heart attack. It was nice to live closer to where I could go down and visit him after a few hours drive rather than multiple hours. He was communicating good by writing on a clipboard when I got there, which I am grateful for. A doctor initially made it sound like he had little chance of making it but as of today he is breathing on his own but is quite weak with his heart functioning on a limited basis, a fact that will not change with a valve not working properly.
After returning to visit my uncle, my wife got a call from her sister. Her husband was diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer his father died from after it came back from remission. The symptoms seem to indicate that it is a more severe type (don't ask me the name of it) but the tests have not come back to indicate which one he has.

Then, as the week ended I was reading the blog of Nathan Shumate (Tachyon City) and found out he had a stroke. Nathan is my age.

All this has made me think about my mortality a bit. I would think that would be a natural thing considering the week's events. I have thought about it before due to my family history. My father had what I believe was a minor heart attack a couple of years ago while still in his 50s. My grandfather died from a hunting accident before I was born at the age of 44. His father died at the age of 45 from a heart attack. My 2nd great grandfather died at the age of 42 (a brain aneurysm, if I recall correct). My 3rd great grandfather died at 58, and his father at 47. You have to go back to my 5th Great Grandfather (direct paternal line) to find an ancestor who lived into his 60s.

The uncle I went to see is one of two brothers of my grandfather's who are still alive (of 7). One died at the age of 9 and was my grandfather's twin - illness weakened his heart. Two died in their 50s. My two grand uncles that are still alive, namely the one that had the heart attack, are probably the more healthy of the group, exercising on a regular basis and have eaten healthy. I really can't compare myself to them (unless we're looking at opposites) as I am overweight and not in shape. I can try to blame some of that on asthma but not all of it. I really need to take a look at what I can do to better my health so I can stick around for a good long time.

Even if I get myself in shape it is no guarantee I'll be around as long as I want though that is not an excuse not to try. There's other things that can sneak up on you like cancer. My sister has MS which I hope can be kept under control - that is something that can't be avoided as it just happens.

We're mere mortals with a limited time here. Or are we really eternal beings with limited mortal existence? Well, the latter is true so our mortality, while limited, is not the sum of our existence but a small portion of it. A guess that limits the sting of death a little. However, when we leave spouses with children still at home behind there is much more of an impact. There's a responsibility for us to do what we can to be there for our families as long as possible. That's fine and dandy for those who have some control over that but for those who don't, fate is in charge.