I do see what Octobermom is saying. Parent's (and partners) opinions DO matter.
If dp said about dinner "wow, you sure did use a lot of spinach" (which he loves, btw) I wouldn't know how to take that. Did that make it tasty? Or was it too much? etc.
I like hearing "Dinner is really good." (but I still don't think I'd like to hear "good job cooking" )
Exactly! THis is what I've been reaching for in some of my posts.... while we should acheive for the pleasure of achievement -- our achievements don't exist in a vaccuum and without SOME feedback ("evaluative praise," yes?) we can't get a decent idea of the results of our work on the people it impacts -- and children are seeking feedback on how the social world works.
TO continue your example (I LOVE "you used a lot of spinach" BTW)
I know, objectively, that the very act of cooking dinner is an achievement of some kind, no matter how the food turns out.
However: to know whether my efforts had their intended effect (ie, whether the people for whom I cooked dinner enjoyed it), I need actual evaluation -- I need praise, particularly descriptive, evaluative, praise. "The spinach is really good," tells me I did something I should do again. "The spinach is really good, you made it spicier than last time," tells me that I can spice things up and my target audience will enjoy that more.
Yeah, hearing "you cooked dinner! Good job!" would get on my last nerve. But so would night after night of DP commenting on my technique in absolutely neutral terms because he's not wanting to use evaluative praise in case I start cooking dinner JUST for the praise. Frankly, I'd probably stop cooking dinner if I heard "you used spinach!" every night...