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If you weren't praised as a child - Page 2

post #21 of 105
Interesting thread. Those of you who weren't praised, and feel bad about it - did your parents show a lot of love and affection that wasn't based on what you did? Did you know they loved you and thought you were terrific, but you wished they would also recognize your big efforts and achievements? Or did you feel you needed praise as evidence that they loved and valued you?
post #22 of 105
I always knew and kno that my dad loves/ed me, even though hes not a hugger etc, my mum and me have a close bond and I know both love my no matter what.

It just would have been great to have efforts and acomplishments made a bigger deal of. I worked hard/tryed hard for those things, and just some acknowledgement would have been nice. even a thank you for doing all the housework without being asked etc.
post #23 of 105
Thank you to all of you who wrote about your experiences about not being praised. We haven't praised DS (14 months) because we had read Kohn early on. At that time I found it amazing how over-used praise was. "Good job for pooping" was possibly the most ridiculous one I had ever heard. I've been thinking about the no praise idea and wondering how DS will feel about that as he grows up. Thinking back to my experiences growing up I don't think that I was praised often at all. In fact I think I was told that I wasn't living up to my potential (another thread altogether). So I think that praise that isn't meaningless may be the way to go. Recently, DS has been petting the cat and when he is gentle I say, "yes that's gentle" but adding "good" couldn't hurt could it? Gosh parenting is hard! Can kids understand the "good jobs" without understanding what a "bad job" is??
post #24 of 105
I grew up with loving and supportive parents. My upbringing wasn't completetly absent of praise, but it was used sparingly. And I developed an anxiety disorder terrified of anything less than perfect in everything I do. When I did anything, it was evaluated, both achievements and areas for improvement. I never thought anything was good enough, because there is always room for improvement.

I came home in grade five hysterical because I got a B on a project. That, to me, was the end of the world, because the A's I normally got were seen as expected and never an achievement. I saw a B as a failure. My mom reassured me that it wasn't, but I never really believed her. I got basically staight A's from then on, through university, and didn't tell her when I got anything lower. If my best wasn't "good enough" then anything less was shameful.

She never intended this. But that's how my childish brain interpreted it, and I can't say I've moved past that.
post #25 of 105
I personally love what Faber and Mazlish say about praise in "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk". There's a whole chapter on it, but in a nutshell they say to avoid praise that evaluates, and instead give "helpful praise", where the adult "describes with appreication what he or she sees or feels. The child, after hearing the description, is then able to praise himself."
post #26 of 105
I had a parent who praised me for stuff that she genuinely felt was praise-worthy, and I feel I don't have any lingering praise-related issues as an adult. (That sounds so ridiculous now that I have typed it out!)

But seriously, she didn't hand out "good job" left and right for any little thing, but if I did something genuinely cool, or difficult, or challenging, she definitely praised me for it. It came from a place of honesty, which IMHO is the best you can do as a parent, and it is what I strive for as a parent myself.

Am I going to tell my kid "good job" for drawing a stick figure that he has drawn a million times before? No. But am I going to tell him how impressed I am when he draws a recognizable picture of himself for the first time and even includes the little alligators on his Hawaiian shirt? You bet I am. It would be dishonest of me not to express my genuine appreciation of his work. Again, IMHO.
post #27 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
Interesting thread. Those of you who weren't praised, and feel bad about it - did your parents show a lot of love and affection that wasn't based on what you did? Did you know they loved you and thought you were terrific, but you wished they would also recognize your big efforts and achievements? Or did you feel you needed praise as evidence that they loved and valued you?
For me, the bit below from dealic *really* struck a chord with me:

Quote:
because the A's I normally got were seen as expected and never an achievement.
.

To have things that were truly work be treated as just another thing I did..... made the work that went into them seem less, somehow. And not in a "many hands make light work," kind of way.

You know, when they put the capstone on the great pyramid, and the work crew stood back and looked at it, I'd bet money that the foremen didn't say, "well, it looks like you used limestone on that last course. How do you feel about that?" They probably yelled something about how much Egyptians kicked butt and then led the way out for a lot of beer.

More praise would have made some of the acheivements more exciting. Celebrating an accomplishment is a lot more fun with other people. Sure, its important to have an internal motivation and sense of accomplishment -- but human beings celebrate in *groups*, generally, not alone in little monastic cells (except, I suppose, for monks!).

To their credit, they were dealing with a gifted/talented kid in a small town in the 70s with no support. There was a certain amount of "we want her to be normal and not get a big head."

There's a lot I found out *later* how proud they were of me about. I knew they *were* happy with what I did (content, maybe?), there was never any doubt that they loved me and cared for me and wanted the best for me. I just feel like some of my lifes celebrations wound up... muted. When a different reaction could have ...amplified?... them.
post #28 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
Interesting thread. Those of you who weren't praised, and feel bad about it - did your parents show a lot of love and affection that wasn't based on what you did? Did you know they loved you and thought you were terrific, but you wished they would also recognize your big efforts and achievements? Or did you feel you needed praise as evidence that they loved and valued you?
Hi, Daffodil -- Every so often, growing up and still today (though less often), it would come up in conversation how my mom seldom praised me. At that point, she would launch into a speech about, "Oh, you KNOW I think you're perfect, you're beautiful, you're blah blah blah." But it went/goes in one ear and out the other, because you know what? I don't know that. If she didn't tell me in small ways day by day, then no, I really didn't have an overarching sense that this was so. Growing up, I really envied kids whose parents were more generous with their praise -- not a "good job" for everything, but more than I got -- and I looked for that kind of validation outside my own family or myself, and continue to.
post #29 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
To have things that were truly work be treated as just another thing I did..... made the work that went into them seem less, somehow. And not in a "many hands make light work," kind of way.
Yes, that. Friends were complimented on completing grades, or graduating. I once asked my mom why she didn't, and she said that it was expected that I pass, not an accomplishment to be praised.

Quote:
To their credit, they were dealing with a gifted/talented kid in a small town in the 70s with no support. There was a certain amount of "we want her to be normal and not get a big head."
That too, only it was the 80's and 90's.

I am also quite jaded against the education system because they continually decided that because I was so advanced, I didn't need to ever be acknowledged as such. I was never given top mark awards despite having earned the top mark, I never won speech competitions despite having them tell me I was the best (and it was an obvious difference). My entire educational career they told me I didn't need it, I already knew I was good, but other people needed to hear they were good. I never understood why my giftedness precluded me from normal human need to be acknowledged... :
post #30 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by dealic View Post
My entire educational career they told me I didn't need it, I already knew I was good, but other people needed to hear they were good. I never understood why my giftedness precluded me from normal human need to be acknowledged... :
In elementary school, my gifted class took place once a week at a different school. My sixth-grade teacher deliberately scheduled a big classroom party for the day of the week when all the kids in the gifted class would be gone. She said we "already had enough fun as it is." I'll never forget it.
post #31 of 105
This is such a helpful thread. Thank you to the OP for starting it!! Here's what I'm getting out of it:

It's much less about the words and much more about the intention toward and attention to the child.

Handing out a "good job" while doing the dishes and not even looking over at one's child is meaningless, obviously. Getting close to your child, looking over their drawing and expressing your pride and happiness in what your child has done is very meaningful.

Someone mentioned something about praising poop and I gotta say it's a pretty exciting day around here when someone learns how to poop in the potty! So I might be guilty of that ridiculous kind of praise from time to time!
post #32 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by eurobin View Post
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.
I love that-it seems like a crucial part of praising and being excited for your kids-to let them know that you are proud of their effort and happy for their happiness, but that you wouldn't be less proud if the external "accomplishment" (grade, award, winning the game etc.) were a different result. Like what you are proud of is the kid, not the trophy or the grade. This also isn't the best articulated. . .I am pleased you take pride in your homework rather than woopeedoo an A!
Dig?
post #33 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettysmom View Post
In elementary school, my gifted class took place once a week at a different school. My sixth-grade teacher deliberately scheduled a big classroom party for the day of the week when all the kids in the gifted class would be gone. She said we "already had enough fun as it is." I'll never forget it.
Yes, that sounds similar to my experiences. : I got pulled out of enrichment one year because the teacher wanted me to tutor classmates. He didn't tell me, I just assumed it was canceled. He thought it wasn't important. It was the only thing that kept me going.
post #34 of 105
I think I'm confused - I don't see how not doing praise means not showing your pride or excitement or joy in something your child does, when it's an authentic feeling. Not saying "good job" and being mindful to not always apply outward judgments doesn't mean never showing approval or acceptance or love or enthusiasm...
post #35 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arwyn View Post
I think I'm confused - I don't see how not doing praise means not showing your pride or excitement or joy in something your child does, when it's an authentic feeling. Not saying "good job" and being mindful to not always apply outward judgments doesn't mean never showing approval or acceptance or love or enthusiasm...
Hmm. Well, in that case I think it's just a difference in how we are defining "praise". Because to me, showing your pride/excitement/joy in something your child does, is praise! Am open to different interpretations, of course.
post #36 of 105
from merriam webster: praise transitive verb 1 : to express a favorable judgment of : commend 2 : to glorify (a god or saint) especially by the attribution of perfections

praise Function: noun 1 a: an expression of approval : commendation b: worship

Well, by that definition, I think smiling at your child is praise. That doesn't jive with my understanding of it, though. I think at the moment it's like pornography for me - I know it when I see it. If one is going to use that open an interpretation of "praise", then I think withholding praise is wrong, too. But that isn't what I mean when I say I think praise isn't good. I guess manipulative, insincere, or automatic or routine praise would be a better way of putting it. But that doesn't roll off the tongue (or the fingers).
post #37 of 105
It was difficult growing up w/o praising much. I strived to be perfect at everything to please my parents. I was the over achiever with straight A's and AP classes all through school, in all sports, activities, even graduated years before I was supposed to. I find it difficult sometimes to praise my own children but usually it comes out automatic since I have done it so much for so many years. When I was in college is when I finally grew out of caring so much about what others thought I was or wasn't doing whatever at.
post #38 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arwyn View Post
I think I'm confused - I don't see how not doing praise means not showing your pride or excitement or joy in something your child does, when it's an authentic feeling. Not saying "good job" and being mindful to not always apply outward judgments doesn't mean never showing approval or acceptance or love or enthusiasm...
I dont know the dynamatics in your home your own reactions to stuff and such. I can say from personal experience every so often I really seriously NEEDED to hear a plain simple Good job. :
post #39 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arwyn View Post
If one is going to use that open an interpretation of "praise", then I think withholding praise is wrong, too. But that isn't what I mean when I say I think praise isn't good. I guess manipulative, insincere, or automatic or routine praise would be a better way of putting it. But that doesn't roll off the tongue (or the fingers).
The problem is that when some people hear others say "praise is bad", they don't mentally insert those qualifications. They assume you (general) mean *all* praise is bad.
post #40 of 105
I also grew up with very little praise, and although my mother was mostly supportive and encouraging, it really did affect me. I did try hard, and work hard, and recieved virtually no praise. The story I tend to tell about this is that my brother did not try for a while there and recieved very poor grades, I did try and got very good grades and we generally recieved the same reaction from my mom. "Are you happy with your grades?" Well, we both were, he didn't care and I did. But I don't think that attitude, in general, served either of us well. And selfishly, it would have been nice to hear once in a while that I did a good job! I don't believe in the over use of praise either, but judicious, meaningful praise, is important to everyone, child and adult, IMO. It is still nice to hear from a superior that they appreciate my hardwork, or from DH that dinner is tasty, KWIM?
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