Learn how skillfully prizing kids (rather than mindlessly praising) can be a game changer in your relationship as a parent, teacher, or helper.
Our culture is addicted to "good job!"--our all-purpose, feel-good, non-specific, or high-bar-setting verbal praise--especially when we talk to our kids. However, research shows that generic praise is insufficient and sometimes even backfires in nudging them toward their potential or helping kids navigate challenging moments. Praise can put too much emphasis on controlling results, and kids can experience it as pressure and learn to fear failing in adults’ eyes. By contrast, prizing is a game-changing mindset and set of specific skills that can help kids convert moments of emotional pain or stuckness into opportunities and possibilities for healthy change and growth. Prizing brings kids and adults together into a shared space in the present moment where conflict can dissolve, connection can thrive, and needed changes arise.
In Prizeworthy, clinical psychologist Mitch Abblett introduces us to the skills of prizing and shows us what it looks like and how to do it in real-life situations. For example, techniques like "SNAPPing Out of Delusions of Outcome Control with Your Children" or "Light-Touch Goal-Setting with Your Kids" add an important layer of validation, compassionate presence, and skillful action to your relationships. Abblett also shares stories of how prizing has made a real difference in the lives of young people, parents, and professionals. He offers a host of scientifically-sound mindfulness and positive psychology-based practices for cultivating prizing at home, and in educational and therapeutic settings.
About the Author
Mitch Abblett, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and consultant with a private practice. He speaks and trains nationally and internationally on the applications of mindfulness for enhancing professional and personal communication patterns. He has been the executive director of the Institution for Meditation and Psychotherapy and was the clinical director for eleven years at the Manville School at Judge Baker Children’s Center at Harvard University.
“If there were only one skill you could learn as a parent, let it be prizing. It’s the basis of all the others. Your kids will be forever grateful, and so will you.”—Christopher Germer, PhD, author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion
“A powerful, practical guide for parents and professionals alike to cultivate true attunement, regulation, and connection.”—Chris Willard, PsyD, author of Raising Resilience and Growing Up Mindful
“Our world has gotten us caught up in the praise paradigm, which distracts us from the greater reward that comes with kindness, compassion, and connection. Mitch Abblett has helped us get back on course, not only to unlock our children’s potential, but in the process, to help us heal and grow ourselves.”—Judson Brewer MD, PhD, author of Unwinding Anxiety and The Craving Mind
“In his excellent new book Prizeworthy, Mitch Abblett takes central, time-tested themes woven through contemplative practice and transforms them into relatable, targeted methods to support children's feelings of connection, resilience, and belonging. Perhaps the biggest surprise in the book, though, will be that prizing children builds parents’ and teachers' feelings of connection, resilience, and belonging, too.”—Susan Kaiser Greenland, author of Mindful Games and The Mindful Child
“In the Zulu tradition a person meeting another will first say ‘Sawbanu’ which means ‘I see you.’ The person being greeted responds, ‘Ngikhona,’ meaning ‘I am here.’ This book beautifully shows how to fulfill this deep and essential wish for every child...to be seen by the people who are truly present in their lives, and to connect to the core of their own being as they grow and develop. What Mitch has created here is nothing less than an embodiment of the spirit of Sawbanu.”—Kim John Payne M.ED, author of Being at Your Best When Your Kids Are at Their Worst, Simplicity Parenting, and The Soul of Discipline
“Children need loving support more than ever as they navigate the challenges of the twenty-first century. In Prizeworthy, Mitch Abblett offers powerful tools for supporting kids with genuine presence. I highly recommend this book for parents, teachers, therapists, coaches, and anyone else with a passion for bringing out the best in young people—by inviting the best from themselves.” —Seth J. Gillihan, PhD, author of the CBT Deck for Kids & Teens
“In the midst of uncertain and challenging times, how can we reassure ourselves we're doing all we can to raise resilient, happy children? In Prizeworthy, Dr. Mitch Abblett offers a straightforward path that any parent can follow, providing understandable tools for staying present, emotionally supportive and engaged so our children will be independent, resilient, and able to thrive.”—Mark Bertin, MD, author of Mindful Parenting for ADHD and Mindfulness and Self-Compassion for Teen ADHD
“Mitch Abblett shares his experience, wisdom, and practical application to help us raise our kids to be the kind of humans that will ensure a better world.”—Elisha Goldstein, PhD, author of Uncovering Happiness