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What is so wrong with "good job"?? - Page 3

post #41 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by baglady View Post
Seriously, do you want to make a high school kids day? Then put a sticker on their quiz; they love it. That one really shocked me. I thought they were way to old for it.
As someone who taught high school, this totally cracked me up. It's SO true. Make it a scratch and sniff sticker and you'd think it was a major holiday!
post #42 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
My mother-in-law actually said the words "good swinging"... to my 2 year old... who was in a baby swing... being pushed. who was she praising, there? :
I think it sometimes comes down to the fact that we want to interact with these beautiful beings so we just TALK and whatever enters our heads, we say. This is what I mean about over-analyzing these things.
post #43 of 91
I think a kid can tell whether a parent is engaged and paying attention, and the words spoken are secondary to this. A parent can toss off a disinterested, "Wow, look at all those colors" or an engaged, genuine, "Great job!!" just as easily as the other way around. The parent's attitude and mental involvement matter more than the actual words, IMO.

Another poster mentioned saying "I like that" instead of "good job" because it has less of a value judgment. It's interesting how varied people's perspectives on this subject are, because to me saying "I like that" is a huge value judgment, and I'd be much more likely to avoid saying that than to avoid saying "good job." I wouldn't want a kid to think that making me happy is the goal of their artwork or playing or whatever.
post #44 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
I have actually heard "Good standing!" and "Good rolling!" said to babies.
I'm certain I've said the same to my babies when they first demonstrated the skill. It is genuinely exciting!
post #45 of 91
The Kohn/anti-praise movement is a response to the 80s overpraise movement.

Likewise, my refusal to evaluate every natural interaction I have with my dc is a response to what I see as overparenting, and way too much pressure for parents (esp mothers) to be perfect. I trust that my dc are resilient enough to thrive in the face of my imperfections. But then, I'm a "big picture" kind of person, and a genuine "good job" just doesn't register from my perspective.
post #46 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
I think it sometimes comes down to the fact that we want to interact with these beautiful beings so we just TALK and whatever enters our heads, we say. This is what I mean about over-analyzing these things.
I have to agree... but I just think it's not so hard to come up with something better than "good swinging"... for instance, my general way of interacting would have been something more like "wheeee! you're swinging, aren't you! Is it fun? *big smiles* you love swinging, don't you?" Which I think is a lot more conversational (like, the kid actually might be learning how to carry on a conversation?) than my telling my child they're "good" at doing something that's actually being done *to* them. I guess my feeling on "good job" "good swinging" whatever, is that it provides a judgment on something that shouldn't necessarily be judged... and beyond that is just like some sort of verbal diarrhea... it's just words automatically coming out. It made me uncomfortable when i realized kids I worked with at the daycare would come over and show me something and the *automatic* response was "good job" (from me)... in a completely thoughtless way. Automatic praise is something that just feels so hollow, I guess. I was just saying it because that's "what you say".

I guess since I started questioning everything else about my life instead of it just being "what you do" (i.e. crib vs. cosleeping, vax vs. no vax, breastfeeding vs. bottlefeeding), doing things because it's just "what you do" feels inauthentic and silly, to me, I guess.

Obviously this is just my feeling on it in my life, but it's started making me feel uncomfortable when people say things like that so mindlessly to my children. YMMV.
post #47 of 91
There is nothing wrong with saying "good job." I am actually baffled by why people find something negative to dwell on when it comes to a positive comment. There is nothing negative about saying good job!
My dh never had a postive word come from his mothers mouth. There are millions of children in that situation. To think that some parents think they are being condescending to their child by saying "hey! Good job!" is so ridiculous to me. I have a really hard time picturing a grown child in therapy saying "My mom was so condescending to me...she would say "good job" when I would do something."
A compliment is a compliment. Words of encouragement are just that. To say that a mother doesn't care as much about what her child is doing just because she said "good job" is a far far stretch imo.
post #48 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
This is my honest opinion... if we are the point of critically evaluating a comment like "good job"... then we are over-analyzing parenting and need to just chill. Seriously! There are a million other issues with children that we need to be concentrating on rather than if "good job" is a traumatic and disturbing aspect of our parenting. Have we micromanaged parenting down to the very essence of HOW we praise our children? Ugh!
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean
I think a kid can tell whether a parent is engaged and paying attention, and the words spoken are secondary to this. A parent can toss off a disinterested, "Wow, look at all those colors" or an engaged, genuine, "Great job!!" just as easily as the other way around. The parent's attitude and mental involvement matter more than the actual words, IMO.
What they said

Those two posts in combination perfectly describes my attitude.
post #49 of 91
my only issue with this type of praise is when people say things like, "good sliding!" "You are the best slider ever!" No. He's not. A more appropriate thing to say might have been, "you were so brave to go down that big slide!" I think when we praise every little thing, it loses it's value and kids expect it more. It just becomes white noise like the "be careful" listed above.
post #50 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama View Post
The Kohn/anti-praise movement is a response to the 80s overpraise movement.

Likewise, my refusal to evaluate every natural interaction I have with my dc is a response to what I see as overparenting, and way too much pressure for parents (esp mothers) to be perfect. I trust that my dc are resilient enough to thrive in the face of my imperfections. But then, I'm a "big picture" kind of person, and a genuine "good job" just doesn't register from my perspective.
Yeah, I agree. I say good job a lot lately. Sometimes I do use more specific phrases. But DD is 17 months, so she may not always understand my words. "good job" is something I KNOW she understands, because I've been using it for a while. As she gets older, I might change it up more. I also say "wow" and "you did it" a lot as well. But in my opinion, my DD and I are so close, she can feel whether or not I am being sincere.

The other day she said "all done" and it was her first time to say those words. I don't even remember what words I used, but I do remember picking her up and hugging her and kissing her. She was grinning ear to ear. She knows I am paying attention and that is what counts.

I used to be the kind of parent that researched everything, but I am starting to relax a little more and just enjoy being natural with DD. I have been thinking about getting a book for toddler age kids, but have been putting it off because I'm enjoying just being natural with my daughter. I'll probably say "good job" at least a couple times today. Oh well, I am not going to over think it.
post #51 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyGrace View Post
I think the point of it is to match your level to your child's. Giving specific feedback at first lets them respond with how they're feeling about the act - was it hard, did it take a long time, was it boring...
It's perfectly fine and wonderful to be happy for your child's achievements, but letting them lead the way lets them set the tone - not you. It teaches them to own their accomplishments instead of looking to see how their accomplishments are perceived by others, and basing their response off of that.

Giving specific feedback lets them see that you really do care, too, and aren't just offering lip service. "You looked like you were getting frustrated but you finished the puzzle" shows them that you saw the steps they were taking, the dedication they had at that moment. "Good job" doesn't really offer the same level of intimacy.
YES.


Quote:
Originally Posted by green betty View Post
I thought Jenn made a great point (as you often do, Jenn!) In the situations where I feel it's most appropriate to say "good job"... it's usually even more appropriate to just say "thank you".
And yes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinalla View Post
Yeah, I think most of the conversations about avoiding "good job" stem from two things:

1. Avoiding over-praising, where every little thing is praised and it becomes meaningless or the child expects to be praised for everything. And I agree with other PPs, this is not so much of a problem now as it was in the past, though it vary based on your location/family/etc.

2. Trying to use more appropriate or specific phrases instead of all or nearly all general praise. I think general praise is fine sometimes, but it's good to make an effort at times to say something more specific as it forces you to really pay attention and give meaningful feedback, especially on something that a child really cares about or has spent a lot of time/effort on.
And yes!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
I have to agree... but I just think it's not so hard to come up with something better than "good swinging"... for instance, my general way of interacting would have been something more like "wheeee! you're swinging, aren't you! Is it fun? *big smiles* you love swinging, don't you?" Which I think is a lot more conversational (like, the kid actually might be learning how to carry on a conversation?) than my telling my child they're "good" at doing something that's actually being done *to* them.
And finally, Yes.


I think there is definitely a difference between being enthusiastic and encouraging your kids (which focuses on their accomplishments and your mutual positive feelings about them) and praising your kids (which focuses on your evaluation of what they did).



I think a lot of this also has to do with the individual child. I am an encouragement/enthusiasm type person, and it was how I parented my son in his early years (he's 5-1/2 now). I was the "you did it!", "look at how high you climbed!" "You used all the colors in that drawing, it's so bright and happy!" mom. Not the "good job/good boy" mom.

Turns out, my kiddo also needs praise/reassurance from me, because of his personality type - so I've been weaving more praise into out interactions, *while* also making sure to focus on his achievements. He is the kind of kid who needs me to say I'm proud of him and I like what he's doing, and that he's doing "good" work. I think some kids need that more than others.

Soooo, while I'm still very much on the specific praise/enthusiasm/focus on the kid side, I see from my own experience that you *also* need to see what kind of kid you have, and work with them based on their needs. Sometimes our kids needs don't always exactly match up to our ideals or philosophies.
post #52 of 91
I try to parent from the heart and not worry so much about what some expert has to say about my phrasing. If "good job" or even "good standing" or "good swinging" come out, it's because I meant it and was excited for my kids. I think they will be okay. IMO, censoring honest emotions and sticking to a script of approved phrases is taking the trend of overthinking parenting it a new level.
post #53 of 91
I'm sure dh and I sounded ridiculous to some people over the things that we have praised ds6 over. He had a lot of gross/fine motor delays, and physical activities will probably always be a challenge for him. When he tries SO hard to do something, I WILL tell him what a great job he did. Even if that is going down the slide. Because believe me, a couple of years ago, going down the slide while sitting up and landing at the bottom okay was a HUGE accomplishment for him. To someone on the outside looking at him, they'd see a regular kid going down the slide. We see something entirely different.

He also has a speech delay. He consistently puts more thought and effort into his speech than anyone I've ever seen. He amazes me on a daily basis. So yes, I praise him when I see him try really hard. He does a great job and deserves to be told so.

I praise all of my kids, but just wanted to use my ds as a particular example. No, I don't praise them all day long...but I do praise them. I think overpraising is ridiculous, as well, but I think praise in general is a good thing.
post #54 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama View Post
The Kohn/anti-praise movement is a response to the 80s overpraise movement.

Likewise, my refusal to evaluate every natural interaction I have with my dc is a response to what I see as overparenting, and way too much pressure for parents (esp mothers) to be perfect. I trust that my dc are resilient enough to thrive in the face of my imperfections. But then, I'm a "big picture" kind of person, and a genuine "good job" just doesn't register from my perspective.
: There are about a billion things worse than saying "good job" to your child. It isn't even on my long list and I do know the arguments against it and sure they are valid enough but it's just over kill imo.
post #55 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticmomma View Post
my only issue with this type of praise is when people say things like, "good sliding!" "You are the best slider ever!" No. He's not. A more appropriate thing to say might have been, "you were so brave to go down that big slide!"
Yes, but calling the child "brave" is labeling which is also a no-no .
post #56 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AverysMomma View Post
I don't want her to grow up doing things because she wants to please me...I lived that way as a kid and I don't want it for her...so I have been trying to curtail it and turn to more constructive praise "That is NICE!!!" or "You did it by yourself, cool, high five!" - but it's hard not to scoop her up and squeeze her and laugh out "good girl!" - I'm deeply, contagiously and emphatically in love with this little cherry blossom...she is the light of my universe and I love to praise her, joyously and with passion, as I watch her doing all of these incredible new things....she rocks my world, she absolutely lights me on fire....it's so hard not to just let it slip...now that she can climb and is talking, she can run, figured out how to carry things in a bag, which she slings over her shoulder...she rocks and it's super superhard for me to think before I speak...but I'll get there.

:
I sooo love this. It's exactly how I feel! Just her sweet little ape walk across the room leaves me yelling "Good job!" I just add: "You're getting to be such a good walker!" Her accomplishments are so exciting!
post #57 of 91
But my children ARE the best sliders ever! :

I try to give targeted praise, but really. I am that annoying mom you come to MDC and post about that told her baby, "Oh! Look at you! Look at those strong weggy-wegs! You're standing! GOOD STANDING! You're so strong and big and beautiful and the BEST STANDER EVER!"

post #58 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniedb View Post
But my children ARE the best sliders ever! :

I try to give targeted praise, but really. I am that annoying mom you come to MDC and post about that told her baby, "Oh! Look at you! Look at those strong weggy-wegs! You're standing! GOOD STANDING! You're so strong and big and beautiful and the BEST STANDER EVER!"

Cutest post evah!!!!! Good Job!!!


P.S. my kids are the best sliders......
post #59 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by chipper26 View Post
I sooo love this. It's exactly how I feel! Just her sweet little ape walk across the room leaves me yelling "Good job!" I just add: "You're getting to be such a good walker!" Her accomplishments are so exciting!
15 mos ago, she came out of me...and kicked and squirmed up my chest to get her first taste of milkies...and I was stunned at this wrinkled creatures strength and determination.

6 mos ago, she was rocking back and forth on her knees and making "zooming" noises....and even though other kids her age were already crawling and some walking...I felt so proud of her being up on her knees!

3 months ago, she started walking and it changed the whole nature of our family dynamic...she became a real person, milling about my kitchen like a kid!

Last night....we put her down from the sling for the first time as we walk through the woods...she begged me to. I didn't know what she'd do.....but she was a monster! She walked like a pro and even kept up (with a slow stroll pace!)...our first family hike with all feet on the ground...stole the breath from me....for real.

We've come so far in such a short time...and these accomplishments seem so small, but in my heart and eyes, all I see is this creature which started so small and defensless, growing into such a fine young lass. I couldn't be more proud...I couldn't love her more, even though I know I will tomorrow!

She feels my love, she always gets my warmth and kindness. I spend all my time with her, she is my number one. As a woman who spent her childhood searching for shreds of approval on my mothers face, who never ever got a moment to stop trying to impress her, prove my worth and trustworthiness and that I was as good as I wanted to think she could beleive I was......I'm happy with my parenting. I can't complain with the small flaws I might posess according to some of these books...because I'm emotionally, physically and creatively PRESENT in my childs life.

I have grown weary, in the short time I've been parenting, of any plan or parenting tip which causes me to feel like I'm holding back. Maybe I'm making a mistake....but you know, it strikes me that so far I've been living (as a parent) in the "If it feels good, you're doing it right" mode...and it's really been working for us. It feels GOOD to be proud, it feels GOOD to high five her....it feels good to see my enthusiasm bolstering her confidence and filling her with the sense that she should be excited about life and people and herself.

I'm not one of these "the world is waiting for MY child to come and set it on fire"...she has limits, I set boundries, we are not completely hands off, anything goes people.....but man, we sure are in love with this little floor pig we've picked up....and though I do plan to curtail the "good girl" a bit (because, you know, it really does sound like I'm tlaking to a dog!) I can't be too upset with myself for the way that I praise my kid. Some kids don't have a mama....mine has one who has never been happier to know another human being in her life...my kid is so cool.

Maybe it's a new kid thing, maybe because everything she does is a "first" it's easier to constatly find yourself praising....but when I really look at it...it's not really even praise. The communication is not "you succeeded, you are worthy of my love!" the communication is more of a shared triumph, shared joy....she climbs something, I am overjoyed at her awesome feat and she is FREAKING out, clapping and giggling, so happy for hersef....and I scoop her up and twirl her around and say "good girl!! woohooo!!" - it's joy shared. Nto qualifying her accomplishment as worthy of my praise.
post #60 of 91
I guess I don't feel like I'm holding back so much as expressing my pleasure more fully. I use more words than just "good job"/"good girl". That's all. It's not about holding back, to me, but about expressing with a fuller vocabulary.
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