I need some advice on peacefully managing some philosophical differences at home. Recently my mother-in-law came to live with us because of her advanced Parkinson's disease. She interacts with DD periodically throughout the day and for the last month I've been struggling with extreme praise and emphasis on appearances. DD's grandmother makes a BIG deal over things that DD does and says "you are good at that" and "good job" several times an hour. DD in turn changes her actions to seek more praise and it is disrupting her normal behavior and making her much more self conscious. She has also randomly decided that she is NOT good at some things and gives up very quickly at tasks she would usually persist in overcoming minor frustration.
Prior to her grandmother living with us DD never heard "good job". We would talk about how she did something and how she felt. I would ask DD what she thought about it and talk about how hard she worked or make other observations about the process. She made up her own mind how she felt about it was awesome.
I've been talking to DD's grandmother about our philosophy and giving her alternative phrases that work for us and for whatever reason it isn't sticking. It could be the cognitive inability to learn new information from Parkinson's coupled with decades of lathering on the praise with children or she could just simply not give a damn. I have no idea. Today out of sheer madness I handed her a book called "Encouraging Words for Kids" by Kelly Bartlett. She looked at it for a few minutes but didn't say a word about it. I had mentioned the book before so it wasn't a shock.
I'm thinking DD's grandmother may be a lost cause on the topic so I'm thinking of turning my attention to DD in warding off the excessive praise. Please understand this is not an occasional "good job" slipping in there ... it is the regular response for pretty much everything.
Any advice on what to say to assist DD with these frequent judgements of her behavior? Our situation is so complicated I'm trying to figure out a way to immunize her against the influence her grandmother's opinion and judgements. I guess I'm looking for a phrase I can say when it occurs that DD will eventually catch on with. No one else in the house gets this sort of praise so it is difficult to teach a response here.
I'm totally stuck. Anyone?
Any advice or suggestion is greatly appreciated.