I was reading David Brooks' column this morning and it reminded me of one of my favorite Nico songs called "These Days". One of the lyrics to the song goes something like, "please don't confront me with my failures, I had not forgotten them." Brooks makes an excellent point about the best way to change behaviors in people and his approach mirrors the approach our faculty often use to help our students grow. Most young people (and adults as well!) are well aware of their "failures" or shortcomings. Dwelling on other people's shortcomings does not typically help them change.
Brooks makes the point that to help people change we need to "to go on the offense and maximize some good alternative behavior." There is evidence that redirecting the negative behaviors toward more positive ones leads to improvement in behavior. To a good teacher that is common sense.
Check out the column here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/27/opinion/brooks-how-people-change.html?src=me&ref=general
This is a picture of my dog Tele, he is fun to hang out with, he does not remind me of my failures!