Madeline Levine on Positive Encouragement

In her keynote address at the Biennial conference for the National Association of Episcopal Schools, Madeline Levine described how we engage toddlers with our full attention and smiles of encouragement when they are struggling to walk.

We say, “C’mon you can do it. Get back up, you can do it. I know you can do it.”

She then posed, “How come we don’t have the same reactions with teenagers when they struggle or fail?”

It would be weird to say to a toddler, “You better pick yourself up or you’ll be flipping burgers all your life!”