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If you weren't praised as a child

post #1 of 105
Thread Starter 
How did/do you feel about it?

Were your parents involved and supportive?

Did your parents give positive feedback and encouragement?
post #2 of 105
I grew up in the home of no praise or with the idea that my persoanl success should be reward enough.. My parents were involved and overall supportive however the lack of ANY praise caused me huge issues to question everything I do and to really wonder if I was ever good enough. If I asked for an opnion on something I was always met with how do I feel are YOU happy ect comments which made me question every thought and doubt my abilities. I alos got comments like wow you sure used lots of red or that looks like you spent hours creating type comments which paired with there never saying "Good" made me think gee so I guess I used too much red or maybe should have done more and maybe I spent too much time or not enough...
To this day I don't take most compliment well. It feels weird and fake to me and thats not a good thing. I alos have my own self doubts on many things my opnions feels are never enough for me because I overly question my own thoughts and opnions.
My parents especially my mom now has a totally diffrent outlook and she wishes she could go back and redo that part of our childhood.
post #3 of 105
I grew up with praise, but two different kinds. My dad used manipulative praise, praising what he thought was admirable and the characteristics and skills (especially skills) that he wanted us to develop. This was really hard, it's exactly the kind of praise that I think anti-praisers rail against. He would even exaggerate things we had done when he told other people, and it wasn't because he was bragging about us, but to send us a message of how we should be. It put a lot of pressure on me, and my sisters felt the same way. I've never talked to my brother about it, because he's using the same technique with his kids.

Anyway, my mom was much, much better at praising. She told us "good job", and it always made me feel good, which is one quibble I have with the UP/no praise. She homeschooled us and she had a way of putting the praise squarely in our laps, and it always made me feel proud of myself and capable. I'm guessing that's because she was encouraging, and she was more like a cheerleader for our accomplishments, instead of trying to subtly influence us to do the things she wanted like my dad was. Plus, she was direct, whereas my dad was not. You always had to guess what my dad wanted, but my mom would tell you.
post #4 of 105
I wasn't praised, except in a sarcastic way. "Thanks for FINALLY doing xyz. Maybe you aren't useless. I guess we shall see if you do xyz next."

I grew up being a very negative person and not knowing when people were seriously telling me I was doing a good job or just being sarcastic. I still have issues b/c of it.
post #5 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by octobermom View Post
I grew up in the home of no praise or with the idea that my persoanl success should be reward enough.. My parents were involved and overall supportive however the lack of ANY praise caused me huge issues to question everything I do and to really wonder if I was ever good enough. If I asked for an opnion on something I was always met with how do I feel are YOU happy ect comments which made me question every thought and doubt my abilities. I alos got comments like wow you sure used lots of red or that looks like you spent hours creating type comments which paired with there never saying "Good" made me think gee so I guess I used too much red or maybe should have done more and maybe I spent too much time or not enough...
To this day I don't take most compliment well. It feels weird and fake to me and thats not a good thing. I alos have my own self doubts on many things my opnions feels are never enough for me because I overly question my own thoughts and opnions.
My parents especially my mom now has a totally diffrent outlook and she wishes she could go back and redo that part of our childhood.

i'll just quote you b/c i could have written your post....

i have issues with constantly, thoughtlessly praising children, but i also feel the same about no praise at all. i think everyone is different and need different types of feedback...
post #6 of 105
I grew up in a home with very little praise and it has had a detrimental effect on me. I believe that praise is an important part of childhood, as children are looking for validation and guidence in everything they do. Praise should NOT be manipulative or mindless, but thoughtful and caring.
post #7 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by dove View Post
i'll just quote you b/c i could have written your post....

i have issues with constantly, thoughtlessly praising children, but i also feel the same about no praise at all. i think everyone is different and need different types of feedback...
Quote:
Originally Posted by octobermom View Post
I grew up in the home of no praise or with the idea that my persoanl success should be reward enough.. My parents were involved and overall supportive however the lack of ANY praise caused me huge issues to question everything I do and to really wonder if I was ever good enough. If I asked for an opnion on something I was always met with how do I feel are YOU happy ect comments which made me question every thought and doubt my abilities. I alos got comments like wow you sure used lots of red or that looks like you spent hours creating type comments which paired with there never saying "Good" made me think gee so I guess I used too much red or maybe should have done more and maybe I spent too much time or not enough...
To this day I don't take most compliment well. It feels weird and fake to me and thats not a good thing. I alos have my own self doubts on many things my opnions feels are never enough for me because I overly question my own thoughts and opnions.
My parents especially my mom now has a totally diffrent outlook and she wishes she could go back and redo that part of our childhood.
My parents were lovely and supportive, but Dad especially was very Dutch Calvinist about praise - it should be rarely used and never effusively, and only when earned by something incredibly out of the ordinary.

My parents naturally gravitated toward the Kohn end of the scale, with more of the "what do you like about it?" "You used red, didn't you?" "Tell me what YOU think?"

I agree with the others. My life experience makes me disagree pretty strongly with Kohn. You don't have to Good Job kids to death, running life on a reward system taht makes all motivation extrinsic surely can be a problem -- but there is nothing wrong with judicious praising. I try not to overpraise, but when my child achieves something big for him/her, we celebrate together and I let the kid know I'm excited for them.
post #8 of 105
Oh my! This tread makes me feel good. I know that rearing my family without praise would just not feel natural for me. If I'm excited about something, I'm going to let it be known and I don't see any harm in it. Insincere praise is bad, but when my child works really hard at something and succeeds, I'm going to tell or show him I'm impressed.
post #9 of 105
This is interesting. We've been going with no praise so far and I think it has been find so far. Ds is only 21 months. Basically, we've avoiding the meaningless "good job" phrases. He isn't old enough yet to do a lot of things. He is a very happy kid.

But reading this is making me second guess no praise in the home at all as kids grow up. I'd never heard from actual grownups who have grown up this way. Sounds like none of you liked it and it was actually detrimental! Yikes!

Maybe we'll just stear clear of meaningless praise and use meaningful descriptive praise when something has really made a child proud?

Gosh....now I'm confused. :
post #10 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrose_lee View Post
This is interesting. We've been going with no praise so far and I think it has been find so far. Ds is only 21 months. Basically, we've avoiding the meaningless "good job" phrases. He isn't old enough yet to do a lot of things. He is a very happy kid.

But reading this is making me second guess no praise in the home at all as kids grow up. I'd never heard from actual grownups who have grown up this way. Sounds like none of you liked it and it was actually detrimental! Yikes!

Maybe we'll just stear clear of meaningless praise and use meaningful descriptive praise when something has really made a child proud?

Gosh....now I'm confused. :
I agree that this has been surprising to hear but so useful and helpful and it really makes a lot of sense. This is why I go through phases of tossing the books and trusting my instincts. I think Kohn goes too far but it does speak to the overuse of "good job" that sometimes comes out of parents' mouths at almost every turn. It does become meaningless then.

I love this thread and thank all of you for sharing your experiences about this. I came from a home without much praise at all except when I was lying in bed with my severely depressed mother and she was clinging to me for her emotional survival...not so good. So I have nothing much to offer in this regard that would be helpful but what everyone else has said makes so much sense. Sometimes when a kiddo makes a picture, they want their mama to say "wow, that's beautiful!" instead of "you used a lot of red!". It just doesn't quite have the same ring, does it?
post #11 of 105
Quote:
Maybe we'll just stear clear of meaningless praise and use meaningful descriptive praise when something has really made a child proud?
Meaningless praise I think is just as bad as no praise. Kids are smart you start spoiuting off a gushy OMG thats sooo amazing at every turn they will close up and regard you as that wacky mom who gushes over air.
However even the occasional simple "good job" can go along ways to reinforce there own confidence. Remember kids are still learning there seeing how they fit how society (as in the world they live in) accepts them whats right and wrong how to address others how to work things out for them selfs how to form friendships stay no to temptation and all sorts of things. Each age deals with these to some degree. As parents we help mold these mildstones were NOT looking at creating stepford children only aiming to do what pleases us at the same time though they look up to us they seek our approval and use that opnion to learn and form there own way and beliefs. No matter how withdrawn or independent parents play a HUGE role.
Soo we use consructive praise. I will reinforce my childs excitiment.
Did you see me mama I did it I did it did you see??
Yes honey I saw and look your soo hapy you have such a huge smile I bet you feel very happy inside do you feel happy inside?
I will point out effort and thank her..
Honey I was upstairs and I just saw your room and how you made your bed. You did a great job with it and that was a very nice thing of you to do.
I will even find the good and reward it..
Cecilia we've been working on you not saying I want and saying may I instead and you have been doing such a great job doing it I thought it been fun if we celebrate and go get an icecream cone at Mc Donalds after dinner
All these things when used appropiatly and especially in a family that practices GD where "bad" isn't in the picture all can reinforce and bbuild character.
What I wont do it be sappy about it use bribes set up for failure or instill a belief that somethign is bad is we don't praise each thing.
post #12 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
My parents were lovely and supportive, but Dad especially was very Dutch Calvinist about praise - it should be rarely used and never effusively, and only when earned by something incredibly out of the ordinary.

My parents naturally gravitated toward the Kohn end of the scale, with more of the "what do you like about it?" "You used red, didn't you?" "Tell me what YOU think?"

I agree with the others. My life experience makes me disagree pretty strongly with Kohn. You don't have to Good Job kids to death, running life on a reward system taht makes all motivation extrinsic surely can be a problem -- but there is nothing wrong with judicious praising. I try not to overpraise, but when my child achieves something big for him/her, we celebrate together and I let the kid know I'm excited for them.
my parents never knew of kohn, but had very little praise, and I was constantly looking for acceptance or validation for stuff I did, I just wanted to hear "thats great!!" when I got straight A's.

I disagree with kohns approach and a house with little to no praise feels extremely unnatural for our family.
post #13 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by swampangel View Post
I agree that this has been surprising to hear but so useful and helpful and it really makes a lot of sense. This is why I go through phases of tossing the books and trusting my instincts. I think Kohn goes too far but it does speak to the overuse of "good job" that sometimes comes out of parents' mouths at almost every turn. It does become meaningless then.
I agree and I think thats who Kohn is essentially speaking too. I re-read the last few chapters last night and have come to this conclusion - that he is not saying 'to praise, ever'. He is saying 'what how your child reacts to the praise or expects the praise and go from there'. I think from reading discussions online that there has been a very big misperception about what he is saying.

The 2nd poster nailed my DH right on the head. Exact same situation - no praise, own rewards, and now never being able to take a compliment without it seeming unnatural or fake. In addition, he is 35 and still craves their approval or pleasing - yet never gets it - not even when he announced our pregnancy.
post #14 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrose_lee View Post
This is interesting. We've been going with no praise so far and I think it has been find so far. Ds is only 21 months. Basically, we've avoiding the meaningless "good job" phrases. He isn't old enough yet to do a lot of things. He is a very happy kid.

But reading this is making me second guess no praise in the home at all as kids grow up. I'd never heard from actual grownups who have grown up this way. Sounds like none of you liked it and it was actually detrimental! Yikes!

Maybe we'll just stear clear of meaningless praise and use meaningful descriptive praise when something has really made a child proud?

Gosh....now I'm confused. :
Trust your instincts. If you are excited over something that your dc does, express that. Express what comes naturally to you. I have never felt comfortable with the Kohn model - reading these personal accounts has just reinforced it for me.
post #15 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
I agree with the others. My life experience makes me disagree pretty strongly with Kohn. You don't have to Good Job kids to death, running life on a reward system taht makes all motivation extrinsic surely can be a problem -- but there is nothing wrong with judicious praising. I try not to overpraise, but when my child achieves something big for him/her, we celebrate together and I let the kid know I'm excited for them.
Same here. My parents didn't praise me -- I had no idea, for example, that my mother thought I was any good at art when I was a kid until I was about 35, when she suddenly presented me with a framed watercolor I'd done when I was in elementary school. While I did feel that I was loved, I didn't feel that any of my accomplishments were valued, which I found demoralizing.

I will say that I feel this upbringing contributed to my strength and independence of thought as an adult. However, I really think there has to be a better way, and I think it's not very authentic to stop yourself from expressing delight and joy at your child's achievements.
post #16 of 105
My mother seemed to only praise near perfection, and even then, she would look for flaws. "You got an A-. Why wasn't it an A+?" She also pulled me out of anything I couldn't immediately do perfectly, such as saying, when I was 7, "Why don't we stop ballet lessons? Dance is just not your strong suit" or something like that. Maybe she meant well -- every kid excels at different things, etc. -- but it hurt. Badly. So now I'm a perfectionist and I never want to try anything unless I know I can do it perfectly. With my DD, I don't "good job" every little thing, but when there are particular successes that seem important to her, I do celebrate them with her. I could never go the Kohn route. I'm thrilled when 2-year-old DD echoes me in a pep talk or in celebration, saying, "I feel so PWOUD!"
post #17 of 105
I wasn't often praised in the traditional sense. They told me specific things like they were proud of how well I did on a test or something, but I didn't get a lot of "good jobs." When I was a kid, it kind of peeved me. I'd whine for recognition... "did you see how well I did in the game?" "did you know I got an A"? And they'd acknowledge it in a way that I knew that they were proud of me for just existing and they'd be no less proud if I got a B than an A. As a kid, I wanted the "good jobs" but now I'm glad I didn't hear it all the time. I'm very internally motivated and I don't beat myself up if I come in second place if I know I did my best, you know? I wish I could articulate it better than that, because I think they did a great job with that aspect of my upbringing. They totally supported me but also let me know that my achievements weren't why they loved me at all.
post #18 of 105
I remember feeling like I always caught crap when I goofed up but wasn't recognized for doing well.

I remember mentioning it and being told that they shouldn't have to say anything to get me to do what I was supposed to be doing anyway.

I try to recognize my kids' achievements and strong points (and especially improvements!) without being embarrassing or condescending. Kind of the Faber-Maslich version of praise.
post #19 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklefairy View Post
I remember feeling like I always caught crap when I goofed up but wasn't recognized for doing well.

I remember mentioning it and being told that they shouldn't have to say anything to get me to do what I was supposed to be doing anyway.
thats exactly what my dad would say!
post #20 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettysmom View Post
My mother seemed to only praise near perfection, and even then, she would look for flaws. "You got an A-. Why wasn't it an A+?" She also pulled me out of anything I couldn't immediately do perfectly, such as saying, when I was 7, "Why don't we stop ballet lessons? Dance is just not your strong suit" or something like that. Maybe she meant well -- every kid excels at different things, etc. -- but it hurt. Badly. So now I'm a perfectionist and I never want to try anything unless I know I can do it perfectly. With my DD, I don't "good job" every little thing, but when there are particular successes that seem important to her, I do celebrate them with her. I could never go the Kohn route. I'm thrilled when 2-year-old DD echoes me in a pep talk or in celebration, saying, "I feel so PWOUD!"

This is my dad exactly.

It kind of made my brother and me into perfectionists. Actually my brother struggles a LOT with failure, and has quit probably over 10 jobs now. I'm lucky because I've been with DH since I was 18, and he's very encouraging, but my brother has not been so lucky.
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