I really like hippymomma69's post about positive regard.
I grew up with lots of "positive regard" and I was praised a lot, by my grandma- basically for everything I did. lol. It honestly wasn't conditional, though, and that's what I took from it.
Heck, that's the same woman who praised ds over and over for- get ready for this....blowing his nose. lol. I'm talking, every single time for 5 days "wow! You are the BEST nose blower that I've ever seen. I'm going to tell your Aunt how GOOD you are at blowing your nose! That is amazing for a 3yo!"
I don't think my mom overdid praise, but I'm sure she praised.
I think the only negative effect was grades. But I honestly don't see that it had to do with praise, I think it was the grades themselves. I was one of those A students who would always opt for the easiest way to get a good grade, instead of trying something more difficult that I could actually learn from. I'd REFUSE to do something I didn't already know I could do well. I wouldn't even answer questions on tests unless I was positive I'd get it right.
Originally Posted by swampangel
I think all of this is really interesting and helpful, but what I read between the lines of these posts about the past is much more about the overall relationship rather than what words were or weren't used.
That's my general feeling with most of the posts, too.
Originally Posted by Arwyn
"You shared your cookie with your brother. That was generous."
See, I would say that's what I aim to do instead
of praise. (And not with a flat affect - with a pleased tone, if it pleased me.) But I also wouldn't do it all the time. Definitely the first time I saw it, or if he'd been being mean to his (nonexistant
Honestly, I see the word "generous" as a value judgement. That would put it in the praise camp for me personally. I'm definitely not saying that it's a bad thing to say. I've been trying to avoid those types of evaluations, but I'm starting to think they are perfectly fine. I'm just talking semantics here, really.
Now, if you said "You shared your cookie with your brother. Look how happy he looks now!" THEN I'd say it wasn't praise at all. A very very slight difference. In the first, YOU (general parent) are evaluating dc's actions (I have deemed your actions to be generous. lol).
In the second, you are telling dc how their actions affected brother. So the motivation to share the next time comes from the knowledge of how that action will affect others, not of what mom will think of that action.
Same basic effect though, I'd imagine. I don't see either as harmful- like I said, I'm just arguing semantics.
Originally Posted by savithny
To respond to everything with a flat affect: "Hey, that's green! Why is the top of it triangular?" is to refuse to engage in the child's quest to figure out How Others Think and See the World - which will ultimately, I think, give them as skewed a picture of the world as it woould if they heard nothing but constant, meaningless, praise of their very existence.
Quite interesting, and I think I've seen what you mean. I guess I do agree in a sense that kids try to figure out how others see the world.
I think that can be accomplished by saying "I think your painting is neat!" rather than "Good job painting." Both evaluations. But the first...doesn't claim to be the ultimate judge of what is good and what isn't. Just what *I* think.