Thursday, January 15, 2009

praise and pleasers

day 10, originally uploaded by bundleboo.

I had someone comment on one of my videos that I should not say "Good job" rather I should say "look what you did". That really was the extent of the comment...nothing more elaborate. What I took from it was a parenting approach that I've been trying to uphold since Max was a baby...I just happened to get called out on it. Its a tough one to keep up with because it requires a lot of added feedback rather than simple responses.

I have a belief that it is really not a good approach to praise our children by saying things such as "Good boy or Nice job"...not that its harmful in anyway but the frame of mind from the child becomes outward pleasing rather than inward seeking. To say "Good boy" puts a label the child that is variable...and the expectation is that he has to remain this way in order to please others...when in reality each day or situation is variable not the person. In other offer praise outside of labeling... you must recognize the ACTION as good or bad...not the child. This way it should lessen the insecurities that come with being imperfect and making mistakes or having an off day. Offering more elaborate praise should also inspire self confidence and inspire creativity to expand what the child feels good about....rather than do simple redundant things to elicit praise from others.

In this picture I was telling Katy ro "It was really nice of you to share your doll with baby Lucy, does it make you feel good to know that your being such a big girl...I love you."

It may have been easier to just say "Good girl katy ro" or "Good job sharing"

I would really like to improve my actions on this theory...I am really good about not labeling when it comes to bad behavior... you will never hear me tell my kids that they are being bad...or worse...that they ARE bad. Rather I might say "Max, that is bad behavior..." I might inspire him to think inward by asking questions...such as.."How would it make YOU feel if some one did that to you?" And inspire him to offer a solution on his own. I try SO hard not to try and stronghold their behavior with threats and ultimatums... by the end of the day thats how it ends up... I need to work on well as my own patience. its 11:30 to bed!


Madeline said...

That is so true, but surprisingly hard to stick with. I feel the same way, but so often, without thinking, fall back on "good job" or "good boy". It's definitely something I'm trying to work on.

nicóle said...

Couldn't agree more!

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Danielle said...

great post. i find myself saying good girl too often. I am going to work on this too. I would never say bad girl but I might say I don't like it when you stand on the chair etc!