ok since you are on the perspective thing... here's another way to look at it.
praise has never felt natural btw dd and me. we've never said anything. we are kinda a wordless action family. hardly ever say i love you or even maintain any of the social graces. since dd was little we agreed that what happens with the world is not required to be repeated at home. so there is no sorry, thank you, please, etc expected. dd sometimes uses them, sometimes not. but that doesnt mean those emotions are not expressed in a different way.
and therefore a lot of our communication is unsaid. but what i have discovered is that because of dd's personality and her worries and anxiety what she does need from me is the belief that i feel that she can do it when she is afraid to take the first step. there are times (not so much when she was younger but later) when dd is afraid and it reassures her to hear from me that i know that she can do it. like at 18 months when she was attempting for the first time walking across the room with a bowl full of cheerios and milk (she was making me bfast and had forgotten she could have brought the milk to the table). i could see she wanted to do it but was afraid and was looking at me for encouragement. and so i told her i think she can do it. the only way we'll know is if she tries. and if she fails - meh whatever we'll just clean it up and try again right away or maybe later. she succeeded. i still remember the expression on her face. and i smiled at her. that was it. no more words needed.
for me i find words (blame hallmark for that) have been so overused that they sound false to my ears.
however on rare occasions when dd has done something kind its moved me to say something at bedtime. nowadays words have gone down even more. dd doesnt want praise. she doesnt want any acknowledgement. sometimes a look across the room is enough - for both her and me.
I think I talk to children, even when they are tiny, pretty much the same as I do to adults. In a situation where I might praise or thank or complement an adult, I would certainly praise or thank or complement a child. I don't think that is false, harmful, manipulative, or anything else. Just a facet of normal human communication. I have even been known to thank my dog when she obeys! It is the constant, over-the-top, gratuitous praise that irritates me.
The example above of the Dad playing catch with his kid, and over-praising every detail is exactly what I mean. If the kid caught the ball, its presence in his mitt tells him he caught it well. If Dad could catch the return throw, obviously he threw it well. The child can see for himself if he is playing catch well. He doesn't need a sports commentator to tell him what just happened. That is a perfect example of where intrinsic judgement works, with little to no interference by adults. If the child becomes dependent on Dad's judgement, he is not developing his own internal self esteem - what he has is dependent on the continued praise from outside.
Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)
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