Philosophical Discussion - Do our children really need our feedback? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 12:19 PM
 
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You have a practical parenting philosophy, informed by your own experience as a parent, that include some "traditional stuff" because you think it is necessary.

Do you know of any CL parenting book that includes all the "tradition stuff" that your philosophy includes? UP? PET? Any other book?
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#62 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you know of any CL parenting book that includes all the "tradition stuff" that your philosophy includes? UP? PET? Any other book?
I don't know. It seems like you feel this "traditional stuff" is essential. I don't and I think you maybe misunderstand my meaning when I say I have not ruled some of the traditional stuff out. I think it's good to have some options to consider in the event that all else fails.

It is, as you said on the other thread, about a change in perspective.

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#63 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 02:35 PM
 
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I spend most of my time, when not in here, in early childhood classrooms (Pre-K to 2nd Grade,) and teaching professional development workshops to early childhood teachers, and occasional to parents. I have really only seen the push for heavy duty "behavior modification" techniques here. As a general rule, the teachers I'm involved with, practice management techniques that work "with" instead of "to."

I've seen a lot of oversimplication here. Yes, consistency is important and you get more of what you attend to. But, human beings are more complicated than dogs.
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#64 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 03:37 PM
 
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I've seen a lot of oversimplication here. Yes, consistency is important and you get more of what you attend to. But, human beings are more complicated than dogs.
Well, you believe that "you get more of what you attend to", but where is that principle in the GD books?

Some aspects of this are simple.
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#65 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 03:39 PM
 
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I don't know. It seems like you feel this "traditional stuff" is essential. I don't and I think you maybe misunderstand my meaning when I say I have not ruled some of the traditional stuff out. I think it's good to have some options to consider in the event that all else fails.

It is, as you said on the other thread, about a change in perspective.
You said it was sometimes needed. That's the same as saying it's essential.
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#66 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You said it was sometimes needed. That's the same as saying it's essential.
If I said it was needed, that is not what I meant.(can you link me?) To clarify, I think there is a big spectrum of things that a parent may choose to turn to if meeting a child's primary needs isn't enough for them. I don't think there is anything wrong with that but I also don't think the next logical conclusion is that these things are essential to the relationship or the child.

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#67 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 04:48 PM
 
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Well, you believe that "you get more of what you attend to", but where is that principle in the GD books?

Some aspects of this are simple.
I think it's completely woven into gentle discipline. Especially when you are looking at the underlying need behind a behavior. My oldest might be having a tantrum, which is sometimes violent. I HAVE to try and see what message he's sending at the time. Sometimes a good hug, or sitting quietly nearby, is just what is needed.
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#68 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 05:02 PM
 
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There are a lot of forms of behavior modification that I have not ruled out - not "grounding", not behavior charts, not "bribes". None of it. I would never, ever hit my child (and if I did I would get help for that with every means possible) and I will feel terrible if I find myself resorting to shame (again and get help) but some of the other more traditional stuff has its place, IMO. If you NEED it.
This is where you said it is sometimes needed.

If it's always optional, then one would never need it.
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#69 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 05:04 PM
 
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I think it's completely woven into gentle discipline. Especially when you are looking at the underlying need behind a behavior. My oldest might be having a tantrum, which is sometimes violent. I HAVE to try and see what message he's sending at the time. Sometimes a good hug, or sitting quietly nearby, is just what is needed.
I am having trouble following your line of thought. First you say you believe that you get more of the behaviors you pay attention to, and then you mention that you give your oldest a hug in response to a tantrum.

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#70 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 05:15 PM
 
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How old is your oldest?

What do you mean by violent?
Ten. And about what it sounds like. Not very often, any more.
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#71 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 05:20 PM
 
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I think it's completely woven into gentle discipline. Especially when you are looking at the underlying need behind a behavior. My oldest might be having a tantrum, which is sometimes violent. I HAVE to try and see what message he's sending at the time. Sometimes a good hug, or sitting quietly nearby, is just what is needed.
I am having trouble following your line of thought. First you say you believe that you get more of the behaviors you pay attention to, and then you mention that you give your oldest a hug in response to a tantrum.

Has your 10 year old been having tantrums for 8 years? (They typically start at age 2.)
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#72 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is where you said it is sometimes needed.

If it's always optional, then one would never need it.
I'm not sure where the conversation is going but this concept is really not that hard. I can break it down in a day for you.

You wake up and have a nice day with your kids and any challenges are avoided or solved by basic things like making sure everyone is fed, entertained, loved, respected, and with creative consensual ideas. The day goes on like that and although the parent is open to some other forms of dealing with challenges, that need never arises. That happens one day, and then the next.

Is that all families? No - to suggest that (and that is part of what I am trying to avoid here) would be to ignore that not all kids have an easy time of it, and not all parents have the resources to deal with problems in this way, and that this form of relating may well NOT be best for all kids or all parents.

But it is possible and it's a pretty good goal, IMO.

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#73 of 88 Old 06-27-2014, 06:16 PM
 
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I am having trouble following your line of thought. First you say you believe that you get more of the behaviors you pay attention to, and then you mention that you give your oldest a hug in response to a tantrum.

Has your 10 year old been having tantrums for 8 years? (They typically start at age 2.)
Not really. More like six or seven. His early childhood was pretty traumatic, though. His rages require connection, not isolation, much of the time. So, I ATTEND to that need. Other times, he seems to need to work things out on his own. Don't worry. His therapists, and I, have it covered. Most of the time, that is.
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#74 of 88 Old 06-28-2014, 12:19 AM
 
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I'm not sure where the conversation is going but this concept is really not that hard. I can break it down in a day for you.

You wake up and have a nice day with your kids and any challenges are avoided or solved by basic things like making sure everyone is fed, entertained, loved, respected, and with creative consensual ideas. The day goes on like that and although the parent is open to some other forms of dealing with challenges, that need never arises. That happens one day, and then the next.

Is that all families? No - to suggest that (and that is part of what I am trying to avoid here) would be to ignore that not all kids have an easy time of it, and not all parents have the resources to deal with problems in this way, and that this form of relating may well NOT be best for all kids or all parents.

But it is possible and it's a pretty good goal, IMO.
It's true that a parent does not need every tool everyday. But the issue is that the tools are nowhere to be found in the toolbox, so the toolbox is insufficient for everyday parenting.

CL books seem to be failing for a good many of the parents who write the OPs I have posted on. They are trying to use CL, but feel out of control, angry, at a loss as to what to do. Maybe it's not best for them or their kids.

What about parents that are very committed to CL, who have totally bought in to the notion that behaviorism should be completely avoided, but where CL is a bad fit for their kids? (Or maybe a bad fit for the parents, not sure what you mean by lack of resources.)

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#75 of 88 Old 06-28-2014, 04:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think that it's totally FINE if you're not into CL or you don't think the books, workshops, and etc. are sufficient. But, I don't think your method of evaluating their efficacy makes sense. People who practice all varieties of discipline have hard patches - or do they not with the Kazdin method? Or do you not know because you discovered and became convinced of this method after your children were grown?

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#76 of 88 Old 06-28-2014, 07:46 AM
 
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I think that it's totally FINE if you're not into CL or you don't think the books, workshops, and etc. are sufficient. But, I don't think your method of evaluating their efficacy makes sense. People who practice all varieties of discipline have hard patches - or do they not with the Kazdin method? Or do you not know because you discovered and became convinced of this method after your children were grown?
My view is that Incredible Years is sufficient.

The book Kazdin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child is not sufficient in my view, totally focused on conduct.

In my view, the combination of Kazdin Method and PET is sufficient, but you have to ignore the unqualified behaviorism-bashing in PET. Of these books, Kazdin Method does the best job of explaining parenting, and PET does the best job of explaining CL. (One thing that Incredible Years has that these books don't is a section of skills training for school, and I think it provides more advice on taking care of yourself.)

Kazdin's other book Everyday Parenting is more well rounded, but the non-behaviorist part of the book seem more anecdotal and less systematic.
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#77 of 88 Old 06-28-2014, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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...unqualified behaviorism-bashing in PET.
This is not accurate.

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#78 of 88 Old 06-28-2014, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My view is that Incredible Years is sufficient.
I just bought it. I like having a CD library so I will look forward to reading it.

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Kazdin's other book Everyday Parenting is more well rounded, but the non-behaviorist part of the book seem more anecdotal and less systematic.
In an effort to maybe wrap this up, I want to say that I can understand how and why a systematic approach would appeal to someone but that does not mean that I think the philosophical approach is lacking.

I am studying to be an art educator and you see a similar variety of approaches - some very systematic and practical and certainly many that are more philosophical and "ideas" based. These appeal to different needs and personalities.

I prefer the philosophical because, for me, it allows me to really internalize my own goals and values deeply and from there I manage to parent pretty authentically and efficiently without the need for a systematic approach.

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#79 of 88 Old 06-29-2014, 07:34 AM
 
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I prefer the philosophical because, for me, it allows me to really internalize my own goals and values deeply and from there I manage to parent pretty authentically and efficiently without the need for a systematic approach.
I am always evaluating what seems to be working and what not, reevaluating my motivations, questioning my desire to address certain behaviors and prioritizing certain needs. It would not do for me to live entirely within any one system, nor philosophy except my own. No matter how well thought out, no system is complete if you are a thinking, rational parent who is willing to question when the need arises.

My goal is not a certain "end behavior" so much as having my children *think* their way through. For example, "Siblings Without Rivalry" is really excellent. I'm glad it's out there. I learned a few things, broke a few habits and patted myself on the back for avoiding others in the first place.

But the entirety of the book did not apply well to my family situation. I would still recommend it, certainly. But my older daughter cringed and cried when I sat down quietly to try some of the exercises. So I ditched that.

Systems are nice for breaking out of habits, for thinking about your daily interactions with children. But once you start internalizing, some things will feel genuine, some things will not. Some things will work with your family, some will not. I challenge any system or philosophy to fit perfectly with every family situation.

Having some "traditional" methods going alongside something like CL is not a failure on the part of CL, any more than my having a few rules in my house is making our Unschooling a failure. Nothing is, nothing can be complete and entire when it comes from without.

If anything claims to be complete, I don't believe it. If a family claims their philosophy is complete, I do believe it to the extent that they mean for right now. It is complete for their family because they have created it something perfect, specific , and *adaptable* for their family.

Hopefully parents are paying attention to the natural, subtle (sometimes overt) feedback they are *receiving* from their kids.

Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
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#80 of 88 Old 06-29-2014, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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"Yea, that" x 1000

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#81 of 88 Old 07-06-2014, 06:34 PM
 
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I read through the thread and went back to this first post because I feel a few things have not been addressed the way I see them.
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I also feel like it puts into words things that just don't need to be communicated that way. When we are enjoying our children's company or appreciative of help, that is conveyed better without words oftentimes.
I disagree. I happen to believe (and it may just be my belief or value) that positive words can only add to a great experience. I feel it's very important to convey our joy, happiness, gratitude, etc. to our children. I think it's important to name emotions regularly. And I think it's important to make certain that our children understand precisely what we mean.


Now, my basic parenting philosophy is that the most important thing to do for my child(ren) is to maintain a healthy and loving relationship. I feel that doing this has it's own value but a side benefit is that it impacts my son's behavior. If we have a strong relationship then he will value my opinions more than if we have a poor relationship. If we have a strong relationship, he will listen and try to understand when I explain my values to him (for example, why I don't eat animals or why I vote). To maintain a strong relationship, I believe it is important that he knows - really knows will all his senses and intellect - how much I love him and appreciate him and enjoy him. Telling him how I feel - with the knowledge and desire that this may impact his behavior - could be seen as the type of feedback ICM objects to. I think it's good to give feedback of this sort.

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The last problem is that. It isn't 100% authentic if we are doing it to influence behavior, is it?

What are your thoughts on this?
I don't buy this whole "living authentically" style of thought. Example: if I choose to be more thoughtful and appreciative of my husband so as to improve our relationship and so I consciously go out of my way to give him more positive feedback than usual and I continue to do this then eventually it will become a habit and then it will "come naturally" and be more "authentic."

That's how human behavior works - habitual, common behaviors feel more natural and authentic than the ones we have to work at. But that doesn't mean they're better or worse than behaviors we have to try to do. Almost anything worth doing feels unnatural and inauthentic at first.
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#82 of 88 Old 07-06-2014, 08:47 PM
 
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This is going to sound too simplistic. I hope. I stewed over it for a few days trying to think about it.

As adults, we like positive feedback. I would say that most adults don't like to be praised for everything, because that can feel patronizing. We don't like to be manipulated with praise or rewards, either. But sincere engagement in the things we like from other people is great. It's why we're on this message board, for example! We want people to discuss the things we care about most.

I don't think I like criticism, ever. There's such a thing as critique of artwork where you feel like the other person is really engaged and with you--that can be positive.

There are some things I have to teach my kid to do. It's my role, my job, to teach him what I know about human society--about manners and morals. I have to take care of his body and get him to take over that job, so that he learns habits that promote his good health.

But, I can teach him all that stuff explicitly. I don't have to hide what I'm doing. I'm not training him. I am teaching him, so he's involved. He's with me on the whole project of growing up into an independent adult. He has been all along.

So, that's how I feel about feedback. Some things we call feedback I don't want to do, because I'm not here to manipulate the child into doing what I want. Other things we call feedback, I'm all about those things, because I'm here to teach and also to learn. I sometimes can't stop myself from expressing that I'm proud and excited and delighted with my kid. Oh well. He seems to be OK so far.

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#83 of 88 Old 07-07-2014, 04:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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But, I can teach him all that stuff explicitly. I don't have to hide what I'm doing. I'm not training him.
Yes! I feel the same way.
b

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#84 of 88 Old 07-09-2014, 10:39 AM
 
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Training can happen inadvertently.

If a kid crosses a limit that the parent has set and the parent reacts by launching in a teaching session then this can function as a training reward (because parental attention is a reward). If this happens repeatedly, then the parent will have inadvertently trained the kid to cross the limit. In this case, I think the parent is not being manipulative because the training is not intentional, I think manipulation has to be intentional.
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#85 of 88 Old 07-09-2014, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Training can happen inadvertently.
Yea, I would agree with this. That's part of why any "artificial" praise or criticism meant to indirectly change behavior makes little practical sense to me.

I got a copy of The Incredible Years. I'm just getting into it but so far like what I read. I liked the attention to children living up and down to expectations -- some of the best advice I've ever heard about parenting. I also like the attention to temperament.

I loved this:

"...question-asking, especially when parents know the answer, is really a type of command since it requires children to perform."

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#86 of 88 Old 07-10-2014, 02:03 PM
 
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Training can happen inadvertently.

If a kid crosses a limit that the parent has set and the parent reacts by launching in a teaching session then this can function as a training reward (because parental attention is a reward). If this happens repeatedly, then the parent will have inadvertently trained the kid to cross the limit. In this case, I think the parent is not being manipulative because the training is not intentional, I think manipulation has to be intentional.
After our earlier discussion of inadvertent rewards for bad behavior, I tried to remember what it was like when my son was little. It was really hard to recall. Have I been rewarding bad behavior? Maybe. My son is really great though.

Last night, my friend needed an emergency babysitter for his three-year-old son. My son was at his dad's house. The little boy's mom was out of town and there's a lot going on in their family right now. I expected him to melt down, which is what he usually does when I see him with his folks.

When he got to my house, I cut up a watermelon for him, his dad and me. (I put the other pieces in a container.) His first response when his dad and I offered him food was to say no, so I told him he should just watch my technique with the fruit cutting and see if he wanted some. He did. (Ha, the fruit-cutting trick worked AGAIN! Muahaha, I am the master manipulatrix.) He felt so much better once he'd had some food. He said goodbye to his dad and kissed and hugged him at the door.

He played really nicely and quietly with my son's old toys while I made him dinner. We sat and ate and he was very polite and a good companion. Then I taught him how to excuse himself from the table and I cleaned up.

After dinner, we went outside and blew bubbles. I shared a book with him. He was at my house until an hour that would have been too late for my son at that age, but he was totally fine. He enjoyed everything that was available to enjoy. He was able to say when he was hungry or tired without whining. He helped me put away the toys! I didn't have to guide him through any of it.

This is the secret: there were no distractions. He was as rested and fed as I could get him. It was mellow, so he was mellow. There is absolutely no way this could be true in a family all the time!

But, I did do the two things I did with my own kid at that age: I built in resilience and good temper by thinking ahead about his food and sleep and the environment, and any adjustments I wanted him to make to his behavior I asked for explicitly. (I also worked hard to model the right behavior myself, which isn't always easy. I sometimes want to whine, pick my nose and be messy at the dinner table. When you have your own kid with you all the time, they see you do those things. Uh oh.)

You don't need to affirm that the child is smart because he understands a story or that he's good because he ate all his food at dinner, even if you're enjoying how he listens to a story or likes his dinner. He knows you like to be with him because you laugh at his jokes and engage him. I think we should have confidence that we know why our kids are wonderful, and that we know how bring it out in them. Or maybe they know why we're wonderful, and how to bring it out in us?

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#87 of 88 Old 07-12-2014, 01:37 PM
 
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So, I've been thinking about some of the points in this thread but haven't posted yet. It's probably a little late now, but I wanted to throw in my two cents...

I don't offer positive or negative remarks for everything my DS3 does, as I feel that life is full of it's own feedback. For example, when he was still a baby, I never praised him for standing up or taking steps. Those actions offer their own rewards. However, our house is not free of verbal feedback. I might offer comments on things I notice, "Wow! You wrote your name really well. I remember when you used to get frustrated that you couldn't make the letters the way you wanted to, but the more you do it, the better you get!" or "You were really friendly when you spoke to him. You looked him in the eye while you spoke and you listened to what he had to say. I think he was happy because he was smiling." I think I'm just trying to frame situations and make connections that my child might not necessarily make.

But don't we do this with everyone? I mean, I can tell my DH that I really like the dinner he made because of this or that... and that's more than just expressing appreciation. I'm telling him WHY I like it, most likely in hopes that he'll do it again, but also just because I'm sharing. Or I might praise the way a colleague handles something at work, giving specific details & even relating it to how much growth I've seen in him/her, but that's not necessarily creating a "praise junky."

I don't know... I guess I just feel that offering positive comments is part of being a positive person. And I don't think it's wrong to try to influence the behavior of others in some ways, or reflect aloud on things that you might notice. Sure it can be used to excess, but it doesn't have to be.

And there are some instances where NOT offering feedback seems wrong to me... What if someone is making prejudiced comments? What if I witness someone bullying another person? I'm probably going to offer some feedback, and it's likely not going to be all positive.
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#88 of 88 Old 07-12-2014, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for joining, Katheryn.

I agree with you. I think that the conversation got a bit more divisive than it should have been because I think some of my underlying motivations for posting were to discuss praise with the intentions of influencing behavior.

I certainly offer genuine feedback, but perhaps less than someone who is prone to give praise as part of being a positive person. I certainly know and love many people who give a lot more feedback (especially positive) than I tend to give.

That said, I do not think I have ever been on the receiving end of praise motivated by a desire to influence my behavior as an adult (and probably not as a child either). It HAPPENS that I do like to make people happy and am often motivated in part by that -- but I would not want to feel like an expression of happiness was motivated by wanting to make me continue to do something. That may seem like a silly distinction, I don't know.

One other thing that came up for me as I thought about this discussion over the past couple of weeks is that my DC is 12. She is generally VERY agreeable and responsible. She does some things that are, IMO, way above and beyond. I point out to her if I am grateful for something she does but in the case of my DC it would be terrible of me to try to influence her to continue. It would be "greedy".

I will say that while I tend to only give feedback when if feels truly authentic to me, I am interested in a new dynamic we are experiencing when DC has been given some compliments as a young adult. I don't withhold that feedback from her and it is a pleasure to share with her.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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