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What is so wrong with "good job"?? - Page 4

post #61 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
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.
Well, I say more than "good job/great job/way to go", too. I don't just say "Good job" and leave it at that.

It kind of all seems like praise to me...just some people tack on "good job" and some don't. LOL
post #62 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by JavaJunkie View Post
Well, I say more than "good job/great job/way to go", too. I don't just say "Good job" and leave it at that.

It kind of all seems like praise to me...just some people tack on "good job" and some don't. LOL
i guess i should make it clear that I'm not specifically against praise.

I have definitely heard lots of (um, most) people just automatically say "good job" and leave it at that. Therein lies my problem with "good job"... or really any meaningless praise.

And really, I'm a praise junky, myself, but to me it's not about praising my children, but about being joyful about their accomplishments. That doesn't require my value judgement being pushed on them, imo. Saying "look at you! You're really doing it after all that trying!!" puts emphasis on them and not on me. I think that's important - but it's still possible to be joyful and responsive to their accomplishments without making it about what I think.
post #63 of 91
If I had to think this hard about what I said all day I would just go mute.
post #64 of 91
I think the point is that it's not that hard, and doesn't really require thinking (it's supposed to be organic and genuine) - it just flows from being engaged with and conversing with your kid, which for many of us, "good job" *doesn't* feel that way - it feels generic and detached.

I also think that just because I *don't* think my kid is the BEST [fill in the blank] EVER, doesn't mean I don't love them with all my heart or marvel at the things they do...because I do - my kids do a lot of stuff that I think is sensational...but I can't think of anything that either of my kids are the best at. Maybe a lot of it is just parental excitement, or maybe hyperbole, but I guess it's the overemoting and, well, basic untruth of it that bugs me (how exactly does a person stand "better" than another person?). Best ever is not a goal I have for myself nor my children, really - trying their best, finding talents and passions? Yes. Being the best stander or best football player or best scientist EVER? Nah - being a kind, compassionate person is WAY more important to me than being the best at anything.

What I DO think the "best/awesomest/whateverst" trend can do, if said enough to a kid, is give them a poor sense of their true selves and a (inflated) sense of importance. If you're told you're the best at developmental milestones or normal things you should be doing anyway (which is where *appreciation* comes in vs. praise), whether you are or not, you have no real sense of what your actual strengths and weaknesses are, KWIM?

I think there's a big backlash against 'overinvolved' or 'overthinking' parenting these days, which I can get behind, honestly....but at the same time, I can't get really behind not thinking at all about how what you say, or how you say it, can really affect your kid. I know that saying the same thing 2 different ways to my kid can produce a really different result...and it's my job, IMO, to think about that.

I'm a fan of thoughtful parenting - 'slacker moms' have become cool, and while I can get behind not beating yourself up for every imagined wrongdoing against your child and/or trying to make their lives PERFECT, I can't get behind notthinking about how your words and actions impact them.

Annnnnyway - kind of tangent-y, but felt like I wanted to write it.
post #65 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post
I think the point is that it's not that hard, and doesn't really require thinking (it's supposed to be organic and genuine) - it just flows from being engaged with and conversing with your kid, which for many of us, "good job" *doesn't* feel that way - it feels generic and detached.

I also think that just because I *don't* think my kid is the BEST [fill in the blank] EVER, doesn't mean I don't love them with all my heart or marvel at the things they do...because I do - my kids do a lot of stuff that I think is sensational...but I can't think of anything that either of my kids are the best at. Maybe a lot of it is just parental excitement, or maybe hyperbole, but I guess it's the overemoting and, well, basic untruth of it that bugs me (how exactly does a person stand "better" than another person?). Best ever is not a goal I have for myself nor my children, really - trying their best, finding talents and passions? Yes. Being the best stander or best football player or best scientist EVER? Nah - being a kind, compassionate person is WAY more important to me than being the best at anything.

What I DO think the "best/awesomest/whateverst" trend can do, if said enough to a kid, is give them a poor sense of their true selves and a (inflated) sense of importance. If you're told you're the best at developmental milestones or normal things you should be doing anyway (which is where *appreciation* comes in vs. praise), whether you are or not, you have no real sense of what your actual strengths and weaknesses are, KWIM?

I think there's a big backlash against 'overinvolved' or 'overthinking' parenting these days, which I can get behind, honestly....but at the same time, I can't get really behind not thinking at all about how what you say, or how you say it, can really affect your kid. I know that saying the same thing 2 different ways to my kid can produce a really different result...and it's my job, IMO, to think about that.

I'm a fan of thoughtful parenting - 'slacker moms' have become cool, and while I can get behind not beating yourself up for every imagined wrongdoing against your child and/or trying to make their lives PERFECT, I can't get behind notthinking about how your words and actions impact them.

Annnnnyway - kind of tangent-y, but felt like I wanted to write it.
post #66 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post
I think the point is that it's not that hard, and doesn't really require thinking (it's supposed to be organic and genuine) - it just flows from being engaged with and conversing with your kid, which for many of us, "good job" *doesn't* feel that way - it feels generic and detached.
Well I guess that is the difference then. To me it does come naturally. Coming up with some contrived way of avoiding those words seems very disingenuous to me. And frankly, I see absolutely no reason whatsoever to stop using them. I told my daughter she did a good job cleaning up her toys earlier. I don't see a darn thing wrong with that. I was genuinely proud of her, and she seemed to appreciate the compliment. She tells me I do a good job cleaning and cooking too, which I think is super sweet.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post
I think there's a big backlash against 'overinvolved' or 'overthinking' parenting these days, which I can get behind, honestly....but at the same time, I can't get really behind not thinking at all about how what you say, or how you say it, can really affect your kid. I know that saying the same thing 2 different ways to my kid can produce a really different result...and it's my job, IMO, to think about that.

I'm a fan of thoughtful parenting - 'slacker moms' have become cool, and while I can get behind not beating yourself up for every imagined wrongdoing against your child and/or trying to make their lives PERFECT, I can't get behind notthinking about how your words and actions impact them.
I don't think anyone here is advocating not thinking at all about what we say to our kids, but rather that it can be taken to the point of the absurd and can become very stifling and unnatural.
post #67 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
Yes, but calling the child "brave" is labeling which is also a no-no .

Is a tepid, "Hey, kid....Whatever..." OK?
post #68 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
Is a tepid, "Hey, kid....Whatever..." OK?
I seems to have come to that.
post #69 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
Well I guess that is the difference then. To me it does come naturally. Coming up with some contrived way of avoiding those words seems very disingenuous to me. And frankly, I see absolutely no reason whatsoever to stop using them. I told my daughter she did a good job cleaning up her toys earlier. I don't see a darn thing wrong with that. I was genuinely proud of her, and she seemed to appreciate the compliment. She tells me I do a good job cleaning and cooking too, which I think is super sweet.




I don't think anyone here is advocating not thinking at all about what we say to our kids, but rather that it can be taken to the point of the absurd and can become very stifling and unnatural.
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post #70 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
Alfie Kohn is an anti-behaviorist, so what he's talking about is the use of praise as a behavioral tool. He is not not trying to get parents to stop expressing genuine appreciation.

Praise is often used as a behavioral tool. More so when I was a kid - the trend does seem to be shifting a bit - but still to some extent. The idea was that every time you saw a kid do anything you liked, you'd say, "good job!" with the hope that the child would do it again. The other side was to ignore behavior you didn't like, or say something negative about it, so your gave constant carrots for good behavior even if you never gave a stick for bad behavior, and in doing so you would shape your child's behavior for the better. Kohn feels that kind of empty praise can make children think your love for them is tied to when they do things you like.

He is not talking about genuine appreciation, as in, "Wow! I loved listening to your song!" He's talking about, "Good singing!", "Good eating!" "Good standing!" "Good pooping in the potty!" "Good sharing!" "Good jumping!". That kind of thing, often done almost continually through the day.
Yeah, I think this is where UP generally gets completely misunderstood. He's talking about using praise as a form of reward. I took from the book that, it's got a lot to do with the tone you use, and HOW you frame your words. You can still say "good job" without saying "good job".


Personally though, I'm not a fan of "good job", or the idea that you should congratulate children on normal things they always do (eating, standing, sleeping, etc). Having a good heart to heart, and letting your child know that it was appreciated and why, to me, goes a million times farther then just saying a quaint "good eating!"

I felt that a lot of his ideas fell right in line with the GDing spectrum.

ETA:

He also adds that when we say "good job" all the time, children look for us to constantly say it. This doesn't just stop when they are kids, these children grow into adults who are addicted to praise, who need to be told they are doing a good job, and sometimes, lack the self-esteem to continue unless someone notices. This is sort of an extreme situation, but I see it in my own husband. His parents were always riddling him with "good job", and now when he does something in the house that he's SUPPOSED to do, and I don't notice, he gets really upset, and thinks I didn't notice or care. Even when I tell him "I appreciate that you did X"- he just wants me to hug him and say "good job!" For him, and he's admitted this, it gives him a temporary high that makes him feel accomplished. Even when I shouldn't be saying good job when he's picked up after himself, or when he's put PJ's on DS, or something that is part of his daily life.

And for the argument that anything other then "good job" doesn't come naturally, try to think about how you were praised or how you saw praise happen in your childhood and growing up. Saying good job has been around for years, and years- of course, it's hard to NOT say something when that's what we've seen for years.
post #71 of 91
Why is it being assumed by some that people who say "good job" or the like never use any other words or never have longer conversations with their kids?
post #72 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
Why is it being assumed by some that people who say "good job" or the like never use any other words or never have longer conversations with their kids?
Yeah, I'm a bit confused on that, as well.
post #73 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by teale View Post
He also adds that when we say "good job" all the time, children look for us to constantly say it. This doesn't just stop when they are kids, these children grow into adults who are addicted to praise, who need to be told they are doing a good job, and sometimes, lack the self-esteem to continue unless someone notices. This is sort of an extreme situation, but I see it in my own husband. His parents were always riddling him with "good job", and now when he does something in the house that he's SUPPOSED to do, and I don't notice, he gets really upset, and thinks I didn't notice or care. Even when I tell him "I appreciate that you did X"- he just wants me to hug him and say "good job!" For him, and he's admitted this, it gives him a temporary high that makes him feel accomplished. Even when I shouldn't be saying good job when he's picked up after himself, or when he's put PJ's on DS, or something that is part of his daily life.
Yes, that is indeed an extreme example. Anything can be taken too far though, such as lack of praise. Just ask my mother or other people of her generation whose parents were afraid of praising kids too much. I think that is where the backlash of overpraise came from. Personally, I think there is a nice middle ground which is where I like to live.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teale View Post
And for the argument that anything other then "good job" doesn't come naturally, try to think about how you were praised or how you saw praise happen in your childhood and growing up. Saying good job has been around for years, and years- of course, it's hard to NOT say something when that's what we've seen for years.
I think folks are saying that "good job" comes out naturally at times, not that anything other than good job does not come naturally .
post #74 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
Yes, that is indeed an extreme example. Anything can be taken too far though, such as lack of praise. Just ask my mother or other people of her generation whose parents were afraid of praising kids too much. I think that is where the backlash of overpraise came from. Personally, I think there is a nice middle ground which is where I like to live.
That's where I like to live, too.

Also, my own parents were not big on praise. At all. I didn't get any "good jobs" from them when I was growing up. I did get praise from my older siblings, though.



Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
I think folks are saying that "good job" comes out naturally at times, not that anything other than good job does not come naturally .
Yes!
post #75 of 91
I have not read any responses yet only the OP, and yes I say "Good Job" to my two, who are 2 and 3. I say variances to that as well like "Awesome job, You did great, You did fantastic" things like that. I do get specific when they have been trying to accomplish something as well. I guess I have never given it much thought until I read your post.
post #76 of 91
This has been a very interesting discussion. I think it is because us MDC ladies are an opinionated bunch! I posted in the beginning, but wanted to pop back in to agree that "good job" by itself isn't a bad phrase, and we shouldn't make ourselves nuts about whether we use it or not (there are much worse things we could say, and boy, am I on the brink of those too sometimes... though that is usually directed at dh, which doesn't count, right?).

The OP was asking specifically about the academic reasons behind not just saying "good job." There are plenty of us who do things on all parts of the spectrum of parenting in regular old real life (GD, diapering, CIO, vax, etc. etc. etc.) We are all up tight about some stuff and relaxed about others. It's the nature of the job, right? I think it's good to draw your line in the sand sometimes, but we are all fans of MDC because we take mothering very seriously, and generally don't accept status quo. That having been said, I like to come here both to connect with others and to find ideas for ways I can improve my craft, without placing too much stress on myself about it.

I prefer more targeted praise, because I know and have seen in my students how much more effective it is. Do I still say just "good job" sometimes? Sure! I think it is important to be natural and true to myself. It just doesn't feel like enough to me. I personally don't like just hearing "good job." I had one professor who wrote whole paragraphs in response to my papers and one who just drew smiley faces.... which one do you think I preferred to get after all the work I put in?

When it comes down to it, in a school setting, it is important to consider the what gets the best results when it comes to motivation. It's just part of the job, and that is where those studies come from and if one wants to apply them to parenting, great... just remember that they are studies, not royal decrees. Apply liberally or sparingly as necessary, like we do with all parenting advice (and be sure to save up for therapy...er...uh college either way)
post #77 of 91
P.S. wanted to add that while I myself would rather get targeted praise... I do, however, prefer "good job" to "take a hike" or "hey screw up" so all is relative
post #78 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
If I had to think this hard about what I said all day I would just go mute.
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post #79 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
Yes, that is indeed an extreme example. Anything can be taken too far though, such as lack of praise. Just ask my mother or other people of her generation whose parents were afraid of praising kids too much. I think that is where the backlash of overpraise came from. Personally, I think there is a nice middle ground which is where I like to live.



I think folks are saying that "good job" comes out naturally at times, not that anything other than good job does not come naturally .
Oh gosh, and see, I didn't mean that. What I was trying to say, that we tend to do things that we've watched, or seen millions of times in our own lives. We will always have a natural tendency to lean towards what is familiar, and mimic what we've watched growing up. In school, I was told "good job" or "good work", or any of the other trite statements. Kohn's arguement, is that the statement, when used to sum up an event that may actually deserve some legit words of support and appreciation, can often be written off by a "good job". Alternatively, he argues that saying it for things that aren't really things that need to be praised for (like my darling husband doing the dishes- right?? ) can be detrimental for the child- saying it for things that deserve praise, and then saying it for things that don't = an over praised child who may grow up with an unhealthy need for constant praise.

In no way do I think that it's not easy for those of you who say good job- I'm just saying that "good job" has literally been thrown around at all of us for years. Not saying it is the harder task, because it's essentially been hardwired into our brains that when we do something good, it should be followed up with a "good job" or "good post!"

For the record, I do say good job.Although, I do try to say, "You did it!" It is hard not to say it when you are proud of your child for even the simplest things. I just make a conscious effort NOT to constantly say it when DS does something that makes me go "YAY!" inside. I do acknowledge him, but I try to make sure I don't always say, "good job!" I've seen both sides of the fence, and I hope we're finding a decent balance over here
post #80 of 91
While reading Unconditional Parenting it really hit home for me as an artist. I can draw very well, but I hate it. I heard so much "good job!" throughout my life that I stopped enjoying the precess and it became all about the results and the approval of others. It's sad because I want to draw. I want to enjoy it. I don't want to be hung up on the end result and the opinions of others...but I just can't seem to get past it.

And honestly...."Good job" is thrown around faaaar too much now. I've heard "Good reading!", "Good crawling!" , "Good playing!", even "Good smiling!" : Seriously, can't people think of something better to say to kids? I feel like it's like giving a child a verbal dog biscuit. To me it seems automatic and not very respectful of children.
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