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What is so wrong with "good job"?? - Page 5

post #81 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?
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 .
I think that both "sides" here are using extremes to prove a point, to a point. And most of us fall somewhere in that middle you mention.

I don't think any of us who are arguing against good job have said we NEVER say it. I know I've said it. I just don't say it much.

And really, the more I think about it, it's not so much 'good job' that bugs me (though it does bug me a little ), it's the co-opting of "good" in front of other words that turns interactions into shorthand...For instance, "Good sharing!" "Good helping!" - I hear those SO much. That is what bugs me, plopping "good" in front of things.

"Good listening!" I don't understand why that needs shortening or turned into a catchphrase. Why is it more effort to say "Thanks for listening!" ? I can't imagine one would say, "Bad listening!" - they'd say something like, "Please listen" or "You're not listening very well" or something like that. I think that's another part that bothers me. Would you say "Bad X" as the counterpart of whatever it is you're saying is "good"?

I do wholeheartedly agree that there are a lot of worse things that can be said to a kid than good job - and hey, I've had my times that I've said things I wish I hadn't to my kids when I've been angry or frustrated - this isn't about perfection and metering every single word coming out of your mouth, it really isn't (at least IMO). As a PP mentioned, this is mostly an academic discussion for me, about the problems I see with "good X!" more than whether or not I ever have uttered it, or whether moms who don't say it are "better" than moms who don't (which for the record, I do NOT believe).

And, as another couple posters have mentioned, I see MDC as a place where people often taken the path less traveled, so calling it overthinking or contrived seems sort of strange, when there are so many things discussed on this site that require a LOT more effort and thought than this, IMO.



Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
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.
I think the more you do it, the less you have to think about it - at least that's how it worked for me. Like a lot of things I do that aren't 'mainstream', it required an intention, a time period of focusing on it, and then it just became part of my new normal. I really don't even think about it anymore.
post #82 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post
And, as another couple posters have mentioned, I see MDC as a place where people often taken the path less traveled, so calling it overthinking or contrived seems sort of strange, when there are so many things discussed on this site that require a LOT more effort and thought than this, IMO.
I think this is sort of an interesting point. I guess I just see this completely differently. To me, breastfeeding, babywearing, and the like come very naturally and are part of how children have been raised throughout human history. There is a biological calling to do both of those things. But this idea of changing the sort of organic (and positive) way I interact with my children because of what some supposed expert has to say is anything but natural and is what I think gets a lot of so called mainstreamers (for lack of a better term) into trouble. Basically, I say down with the experts! Down with The Man! : And as with everything, YMMV.

ETA - And more seriously, basically what I mean is I have no problem with anyone saying that "good job" doesn't feel right to them and that other ways of interacting with their child feel more natural to them. What I do have a problem with are Kohn's assertion that saying "good job" or praising in general is damaging and manipulative. BTW, for anyone that hasn't read any of his books, you may find this article called "Five Reasons to Stop Saying 'Good Job!'"interesting.
post #83 of 91
I really love Alfie Kohn and UP but I also disagree with this. Praise is important to a child, it makes them happy. I think the thing is you have to let them know that your LOVE for them isn't based on how well they do things. For instance, I tell my dd that I am happy with her test results as long as she tried her best. She doesn't have to get an A every time. I really do think it matters that it comes from your heart, not an absentminded "good job" while staring at the tv while your child shows you something. I could've used praise from my father. All I ever got told was what I did wrong..I think I would've cried with happiness if he ever told me something I did made him happy.
post #84 of 91
See... I don't see "good job" as organic, but as an artifact of our (mainstream) culture. It's just "what you say"... and requires less thought than a full sentence... had it not been a created saying, we would be saying the sentence... just as we didn't have extra rooms in our houses, everyone's baby would be sleeping in their room...
post #85 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
See... I don't see "good job" as organic, but as an artifact of our (mainstream) culture. It's just "what you say"... and requires less thought than a full sentence... had it not been a created saying, we would be saying the sentence... just as we didn't have extra rooms in our houses, everyone's baby would be sleeping in their room...
It may not be organic for you to say "good job" or to praise your child. It is for me. It has nothing to do with being conditioned to think it is just what you say. I was a young child in the 70's when the idea of building self-esteem in children or relating to them at all really was just beginning. Think Marlow Thomas/Free to Be You and Me, Mister Rogers, and Warm Fuzzies. I really never got constant "good jobs" or tons of praise in general growing up. I'm curious when the people who say they heard it all the time grew up.
post #86 of 91
I can not recall being told 'good job' once when I was growing up. I was not praised at all as far as I can remember (not self -esteem building for sure). I was born in the late 70's.

I do agree there is a big difference between saying 'good job' when you are engaged and truly mean it and when it's just a way to kind of brush your kids off and get back to what you were doing kwim. I guess intent matters imo.
post #87 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
ETA - And more seriously, basically what I mean is I have no problem with anyone saying that "good job" doesn't feel right to them and that other ways of interacting with their child feel more natural to them. I what I do have a problem with are Kohn's assertion that saying "good job" or praising in general is damaging and manipulative. BTW, for anyone that hasn't read any of his books, you may find this article called "Five Reasons to Stop Saying 'Good Job!'"interesting.
BUT, it actually can be manipulative, when parents are using it as a tool to get what THEY want. When you are generally impressed with your child, and are actually expressing interest, and praise in what they have done, even when it doesn't benefit you, then of course, "good job" is not a tool for behavioral adaptation. What the issue is, like someone else brought up, the "good" is now being thrown in front of everything, which is actually manipulative, even you are not aware of it. A lot of parents are trying to find ways to get their children to do what THEY want, not what is actually in the best interest of their child. I mean this as no offense to anyone but I tell my dog "good job" or "good listening" or "good girl". When I use those phrases with my dog, I absolutely am trying to use them as a way of manipulating her to do what I need or want. (FTR, iI'm not saying anyone who does use those phrases is bad or terrible- I use them with my dog for behavioral adaptation, and am not meaning to compare anyone to that- it's just my own experience).

My point is, just because for you they aren't tools of manipulation, does not mean they are not that for many others.

The context that you or I are using it in, is not manipulative. However, Kohn's argument that it can be and is often used as a manipulative tool is actually not too far off. All of you have to do is go to any local bookstore and find the newest sleep training or scheduling craze to realize that for most "experts", praise is used as a method of getting your child to do what YOU want.
post #88 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by teale View Post
A lot of parents are trying to find ways to get their children to do what THEY want, not what is actually in the best interest of their child. .
Are the two mutually exclusive? Usually the parent wants what is in the best interest of the child.

Yes, "good ____!" can be used as a sort of reward to help encourage behavior the parent wants to see. Used *all day long*, I can see how this is problematic. Used in moderation, to form a new habit or learn a new skill, for instance, I don't see the harm. I've read the theories, but, in moderation, I don't believe it to be harmful at all--and I do believe it to be useful. So I keep that tool in my toolbelt.
post #89 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
It may not be organic for you to say "good job" or to praise your child. It is for me. It has nothing to do with being conditioned to think it is just what you say. I was a young child in the 70's when the idea of building self-esteem in children or relating to them at all really was just beginning. Think Marlow Thomas/Free to Be You and Me, Mister Roger's, and Warm Fuzzies. I really never got constant "good jobs" or tons of praise in general growing up. I'm curious when the people who say they heard it all the time grew up.
I didn't either, but I hear it all around me now...
post #90 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama View Post
Are the two mutually exclusive? Usually the parent wants what is in the best interest of the child.

Yes, "good ____!" can be used as a sort of reward to help encourage behavior the parent wants to see. Used *all day long*, I can see how this is problematic. Used in moderation, to form a new habit or learn a new skill, for instance, I don't see the harm. I've read the theories, but, in moderation, I don't believe it to be harmful at all--and I do believe it to be useful. So I keep that tool in my toolbelt.
They absolutely can be. I think most, if not all, will say they want the best for their child. I believe that very few actually practice that though- they want what is best for their child, as long as it's what they want as a parent. I've met these people, in fact I was raised by some of these people. Absolutely, my parents will argue they want what's best for me- but to this day, I can tell you they will never accept me entirely because I did not do what they wanted for me, or rather what they thought was best for me, despite the fact that it was not at all the best "thing" for me. It's a sad, sad feeling to realize that your parents had been manipulating you to get what they wanted, and in the end, really won't accept you, despite the fact that they proclaim loudly that they will. Even sadder still, is that I have turned into the confident, intelligent, successful woman they wished for me- just not on their terms or how they wanted me to be.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has experienced this?

I'm not saying that "good job" is terrible and awful- in fact, in my posts I say that I use it occasionally, and argue that simply it can be used for the wrong purposes.
post #91 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by teale View Post
They absolutely can be. I think most, if not all, will say they want the best for their child. I believe that very few actually practice that though- they want what is best for their child, as long as it's what they want as a parent. I've met these people, in fact I was raised by some of these people. Absolutely, my parents will argue they want what's best for me- but to this day, I can tell you they will never accept me entirely because I did not do what they wanted for me, or rather what they thought was best for me, despite the fact that it was not at all the best "thing" for me. It's a sad, sad feeling to realize that your parents had been manipulating you to get what they wanted, and in the end, really won't accept you, despite the fact that they proclaim loudly that they will. Even sadder still, is that I have turned into the confident, intelligent, successful woman they wished for me- just not on their terms or how they wanted me to be.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has experienced this?

I'm not saying that "good job" is terrible and awful- in fact, in my posts I say that I use it occasionally, and argue that simply it can be used for the wrong purposes.
You described my childhood, only praise was given to me in front of my sister to manipulate her, or not at all. In fact, I recently told my mother that I never really felt like I had her approval and, instead of saying "why did you feel that way?" she said "I don't know why you would have thought that!":

DH has really helped me to accept myself on my own merits. Like you, I became the confident, successful person, but until I let go of wanting my mom to TELL me that, I went through life feeling like a failure.

So where is this balance? People who get praised too much are praise hungry, but so are people who don't get praised at all. I guess you could say I praise to celebrate, not to manipulate. I do use good job sometimes, but it is not the only thing I would say. I think I say "thank you" way more often.

I love MDC. This kind of intellectual debating in a safe place makes me so happy. :
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