Saturday, June 13, 2015

Why So Negative?

Another barrier to which the Millennial Asian must grow up with is a psychological environment where there is very little reward, high anxiety of punishment, and a truly negative outlook to which good achievements are but simply and ordinarily expected. This is so accentuated in the Asian culture to which I posted a related meme in another post which I'll share with you again.

The context is this: A Millennial Asian come home with a test graded. They got a 99%. The parents are not pleased. They are not proud. They are not even satisfied. Their response (in kind)....

Yet, if you were to bring that 99% back to so many other cultures of parentage, you would get reward, encouragement, pride, affirmation, affection, and love.

So, why not the same for the Millennial Asian? WHY SO SERIOUS!?

Sadly, this negative approach goes against the basic tenets of behavior and psychology; we're talking about terms like "Positive Reinforcement" and "Negative Punishments."

Reinforcements and Punishments:
  • A reinforcement is a construct that will increase the frequency of behavior.
  • A punishment is a construct that will decrease the frequency of a behavior.

Positives and Negatives:

  • A positive is the addition of said construct.
  • A negative is the removal of said construct.
What I recall from my psychology days is that Positive Punishments and Negative Reinforcements tend to elicit the weakest response. In other words, punishing someone by giving them something they don't want can cause more problems (ie. hostility/resentment). Similarly, rewarding someone by taking away something they don't want can lead to more problems (ie. a pattern of bribing).

Yet, how often do we see this?
  • If you don't do well, you have to do 100 more practice problems!
  • If you don't do well, I'm going to send you to Saturday SAT prep school!
  • If you do well this time, you don't have to do your chores.
  • If you do well this time, you don't have to read the extra chapter.
Rather, I implore that the Millennial Asian needs to be regarded with POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT and NEGATIVE PUNISHMENT. Give them what they value and remove from them in kind if they are misbehaving (not likely... ha!). Seriously? A Millennial Asian misbehaving under the kind of pressure they are currently experience? If they were, the parents probably have already disowned them.

AND, YOU'RE LAUGHING! Only because it's true, and you know it.

SO! Don't be so negative. Be positive! Regard the Millennial Asian with the emotional languages they need for growth and development. Make them feel valuable as human beings; they are watching, after all. They are watching when other parents give their children loads of positive affections for barely scratching a B-. They are noticing that even when they get 100% or 105% with extra credit... you barely give them a glimmer of pride or acceptance... for fear that even that amount of praise would send them into a downward spiral of laziness.

NO! You've taught them better than that. If anything, they will come to respect you more. They will work even harder. And, MAYBE, they will come into their own as productive members of society... after all, that's what you wanted to begin with, right?

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