is expressing appreciation ok? if i say something to my dc like, "i appreciate your help w/ the recycling" or somethinng...
The two things I try really hard to keep in mind when 'praising' my kids are:
1. Why am I wanting to praise my child right now? Is it out of genuine enthusiasm? Am I trying to manipulate their behavior? There's nothing wrong with wanting to get a child to behave a certain way, I just would rather be direct about it and *tell* them then try to get around asking/telling them what to do by faking praise to encourage them to keep it up. "I expect you to be gentle with your brother......Thank you for being gentle with him" feels more honest than "Wow, you were really gentle with the baby! Good job!!" (most of the time, anyway). I often used to use "good job!" when I really meant "thank you". There's nothing wrong with thank you
2. Where am I directing their attention, and is that where I *want* to direct their attention?" Sometimes I do want them to be thinking about the effect their actions have on other people, sometimes I want them to to be thinking about how *they* feel about what they just did, and sometimes I don't want to direct their attention at all.
There's a difference between:
-"Look at DS2's face! I think he is happy to have that toy."
-"It was very thoughtful of you to give your brother a turn",
-"You let your brother have a turn with that toy even though you really enjoy playing with it"
And I think that all of those type of responses have their place, and all of them are way better, imo, then "Good job sharing!!!! It makes Mommy happy when you share!"