Posts Tagged With: good job

observe. accept. love.

Some you may know of the app facebook has that shares memories. It’s called “On This Day” and it shows things you’ve posted on that day in previous years.
I don’t check this all the days, I just happened to do it this morning because of something someone else posted that involved me.

Here’s a post from this day two years ago:
dancing girl at great falls
While we were at Great Falls today, I saw this little girl jumping from rock to rock singing, “I am awesome!” (The tune was precious.) Her mom just watched…she didn’t say anything and the little girl didn’t do anything but jump and sing about how awesome she is.
This is why we shouldn’t be saying, “Good job!” Or sometimes not even, “You did it!”
She didn’t need anything from anybody. She knows intrinsically that she is enough…I want to be this little girl please.

Seeing this post stimulated the memory of how moved I was in the moment watching this little girl. She didn’t need anything from anyone. Her mother stood nearby watching, but said nothing. Not “that’s not safe”. Not “way to go”. She said nothing. She observed. She accepted.

My years of early childhood training have given me a different way of looking at the world. At children in the world. The need to have freedom to take risks. They learn through play. They learn through risk taking. They don’t need to be praised every forty-seven seconds. They don’t need a trophy for participating.
They need to feel safe. Safe to explore. Safe to try. Safe to play. Safe to learn. Safe to experience that all-important “I did it!” moment of accomplishment.
It’s obvious to me that this little girl felt safe.
It’s obvious to me that her mother felt safe.
She let that child (who was not yet school-age) take risks by jumping on those rocks. Her mother knew she could fall and get hurt. And that wouldn’t have been fun for anybody, but the little girl would have learned from that. She would have known how to have sturdier feet the next time. She would have jumped more solidly.
That little girl’s mother said nothing while she sang and jumped from rock to rock and back again. But even more interesting to me is that the child never said, “Watch me!” She was completely focused on her task, jumping from rock to rock and singing: I am awesome! It didn’t matter to her if her mom was watching. It didn’t matter to her that she was or was not praised. She was working hard and she was having a blast doing it!

“Watch me, Miss Robynbird!” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that from a child in the last two years.
I cringe every single time one of them says it.
I have said: You can do it. You don’t need me to watch you.
At first they didn’t understand, I could see the deflation happen in their little bodies. But over time, they began to understand that I trusted them and I made the environment safe enough that they could try anything. They began to ask their peers to watch, this created opportunities to build their cooperation skills. Created opportunities for them to mentor each other.
I feel good about that.
I’ve said: You did it! more times than I should have. But never will you hear me say: Good job! I might say: Well done you! Give me five.

YBW and I had a conversation about praise. He believes everyone wants to hear it. I couldn’t agree more. But my point to him was praise causes people to look outside themselves for validation. They’re not motivated my curiosity or desire to try/play/learn. They’re motivated by and for someone else.
Of course we all want an “attagirl” once in a while. Working hard and not getting recognized sometimes feels icky. But praise is a double edged sword. The other side of praise is criticism. I grew up with enough criticism for three kids and precious little praise. In all honesty, I’d trade praise and it’s ugly twin to feel safe enough to try without anyone’s opinion.
When I work hard and finish a job well done I feel that sense of accomplishment. I experience my own “I did it!” moment.
Would it be nice to hear praise?
Absolutely!
Do I need that praise?
Not really.

We’ve created a new generation of kids that thrive on praise. That are motivated by praise, by participation trophies. That graduate from high school only so the principal has numbers that grow.
What if we took a giant step back and took a page from the mom’s book?
What if we observe?
What if we accept?
What if we love?

I want to be that little girl. I want to be enough for myself like she is.
I want that for all of us.

Advertisements
Categories: education, love, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.

Sawblades In Your Walkman

effervescing with muchness

Modern Mystic Mother

This is the stage where I am the star

History Tech

History, technology, and probably some other stuff

Tales from the mind of Kristian

Visit the darkest crevices of my mind, dare to tread where many fear to go. You may find something interesting or you may find a mirror to your soul.

Em's World

UK Lifestyle and Theatre Blogger

Writer of Words, etc

Words, food, thoughts, sports

walkingtheclouds

where the clouds may lead

Meditations in Motion

Running and life: thoughts from a runner who has been around the block

Clearly Sarah

my thoughts. my feels. my life.

Winter1137's blog

Social anxiety, depression and a cat obsession. The fun never ends.

Bitchin’ in the Kitchen

..because the thoughts that fall, kicking and screaming from my head need a safe place to land..

WhyToStop

By Rachna

Finding French Charming

Finding True Love.. Even After Forty

The Nerdy Lion

Lions can wear glasses too

Trying to do it ALL

I have a 2 year old, a husband, a job, ME/CFS ... oh and I'm trying to lose weight. I have so many plates spinning the salad is hitting me on the chops as it goes round. This is my sweary, brutal, honest daily diary as I try to do it all. #swearymum #meawareness #MECFS

Family Furore

Parenting and Mental Health Blog

A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!

We Each Have A Story To Tell

Thought Box

Sweet...Bitter...Happy...Sad...All thoughts trapped in a Box...

M.A. Lossl

An author's life, books, and historical research

Life at the end of a fork

The adventures of two culinary explorers adrift on the high-seas of our great city, London, in search of an edible El Dorado.

Pointless Overthinking

Understanding ourselves and the world we live in.

Water for Camels

Encouragement and Development for Social Workers and Those with a Mission of Helping Others

Anxiety The Bitch

We are present in the millions, yet we remain unheard

J. A. Allen

Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins

Mistakes & Adventures

What I've always wanted

Persevere

By Dan Sims

In A Messy World

I live in a world of fantasy, so keep your reality away from me.

Living In the Sweet Spot

"You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present." Jan Glidewell

%d bloggers like this: