Philosophical Discussion - Do our children really need our feedback? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 88 Old 06-06-2014, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Lightbulb Philosophical Discussion - Do our children really need our feedback?

This is sort of a spin-off from some recent threads that talk about parent feedback for actions and behavior.

I will admit some bias in that I was raised in an unconditional home with very little feedback (either positive or negative) for my actions. There was some hardship to that -- and my siblings and I often joke about it, but I think there was significant benefit as well.

The focus on attachment, connection, and a loving relationship is a good one, IMO, but I don't think that requires us to communicate verbally to our children how we feel about what they do or how they behave.

I'm a lover of Alfie Kohn and think his words on praise are often over simplified, perhaps. Or maybe his ideas didn't go as deep as I remember.

The problems I see with feedback (even positive feedback) are many.

For one, I feel like it can take our children out of the moment of joy for what they are engaged in. Parents and children working together (or children working happily alone) don't need to be interrupted by praise.

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.

Then is the intrinsic/extrinsic thing - (and AK does this well, IMO). When a child is playing alone or helps out with a chore or eats their dinner. That is the reward. It's pure and simple and adding to that, IMO, can have the effect of diminishing that. It's the parent saying, "The intrinsic value is not enough."

To be clear, there are times when it feels totally natural to give feedback. I am talking about the type of feedback that is motivated by driving behavior.

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?
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#2 of 88 Old 06-06-2014, 08:19 PM
 
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I do avoid giving unnecessary feedback. You are right, it takes them out of the moment and it's nice when something is it's own motivator-- positive and negative. Now and then I I feel like I don't want to wait. Something motivates me to say something.

Occasionally, though--usually when they've been working so hard to change something-- I do make a point to say something in order to influence behavior and reinforce my approval in case it wasn't obvious, even when the joy isn't there. It's a manufactured statement, but the moment is well chosen. I get my own reward when I see that smile sneak onto their faces. Now and then... now and then....

I think my girls do appreciate feedback. They also appreciate the chance to discover stuff for themselves instead of having me give a running commentary. Do they need feedback? It sounds like you would have appreciated a little of it now and then growing up. So, yeah, some feedback I believe is necessary. But if it is necessary, they don't need much. The difficulty is when and for what.
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#3 of 88 Old 06-07-2014, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts, SS!

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Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post
I do avoid giving unnecessary feedback. You are right, it takes them out of the moment and it's nice when something is it's own motivator-- positive and negative.
I agree (obviously!). I've been observing how and when I give feedback for the past few days.

I have noticed that with my 3 year old I just don't really give feedback. An example was yesterday. I walked in on her pouring juice (a special treat) from the jug into her cup. She is learning to pour and is not quite there yet so I just bit my tongue to avoid the negativity of a comment like, "Be careful." I watched as she did an "ok" job. I could have given her both positive and negative feedback considering she got most of the juice in the cup (a challenge for her) but also spilled some. Instead I just handed her a napkin to clean the spill and we went on our day.

With my 12 year old I think I may need to be on special watch to be sure I'm not giving negative feedback. She and I share a bunch of chores so it's easy enough to comment on things that she could do better (and she can comment on me) but I'd rather not.

I feel like the older members in our family should live most of our days recognizing that we're all doing our best and save negative feedback for when we've really thought something through that we feel needs improvement. This is something DH and I can work on too.


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Occasionally, though--usually when they've been working so hard to change something-- I do make a point to say something in order to influence behavior and reinforce my approval in case it wasn't obvious, even when the joy isn't there. It's a manufactured statement, but the moment is well chosen. I get my own reward when I see that smile sneak onto their faces. Now and then... now and then....
Agreed again. Often with my 12 year old I do notice that I try to give feedback separate from the event -- so it doesn't feel like a tit-for-tat, if that makes sense.

Maybe that is just a do unto others thing. I know I would prefer a compliment or expression of gratitude away from what I give. That feels more like a lot of thought has gone into it.

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It sounds like you would have appreciated a little of it now and then growing up. So, yeah, some feedback I believe is necessary. But if it is necessary, they don't need much. The difficulty is when and for what.
I don't remember having problems with a lack of feedback for behavior issues. I can specifically remember a time when I was a teen and came home super late. I got no feedback -- and none was needed. I could tell my parents were waiting up for me, were worried, and were a little embarrassed because they had friends over who I think were also worried. That was enough - and it should be! And, I don't think at the age I was that I should have been praised (the alternative) for being able to get home no time, yk?

Where the feedback thing was kind of a challenge was on personal choice stuff. I am still figuring this out for my 12 year old. I am way more open and opinionated about the choices she makes than my parents were with me. But, I'm still searching for that balance. I find that I like to ask first before giving my opinion - that way I know that it was what my DC was looking for from me in the conversation.

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#4 of 88 Old 06-07-2014, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I also want to say that I do distinguish between gratitude and feedback and maybe some people don't. I do think they are related because they are probably internalized in a similar way but I feel like expressing gratitude is deeper in a way than giving positive feedback. Not sure how rational this is though...

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#5 of 88 Old 06-07-2014, 10:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

Where the feedback thing was kind of a challenge was on personal choice stuff. I am still figuring this out for my 12 year old. I am way more open and opinionated about the choices she makes than my parents were with me. But, I'm still searching for that balance. I find that I like to ask first before giving my opinion - that way I know that it was what my DC was looking for from me in the conversation.
My mother left me to figure things out on my own, or if she felt like saying something it was a criticism not taken well. Neither take was much welcome. I think I had a better relationship with my mother than my sisters did, but her commentary was always brimming with judgement and expectation. (Paranoid? Maybe, but....)

I think I have a closer relationship with my girls, and giving an opinion winds up being that--just an opinion, not a judgment, not an expectation. If we don't involve ourselves in our children's lives and then suddenly comment on something, it's not going to be taken as part of the natural flow of the day, the natural give-and-take that comes with a sound relationship. It is then out of place. Though, granted, that can have a huge positive impact with the right comment at the right time, but mostly (just speaking from my own experience) it is unfamiliar and kinda strange and therefore often unwelcome and disruptive.

My mom and I never got past that awful adolescent stage, so take my views with big, honkin' chunk of salt!

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#6 of 88 Old 06-07-2014, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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One of the things I've observed in these past few days is that (for me) I feel a little like "feedback" can really interrupt natural conversation. This is especially true of my toddler who is just so free and unpredictable with what she chooses to talk about that interjecting with feedback wouldn't be a good choice.

With my 12 year old, I sort of feel the same, though she is more specific about what she wants to talk about. But, really, more of what she seems to need is help with problem solving over my opinion.

I think about my own DH, who tends towards the critical, and feel like the solution for him isn't to add some compliments in with the negative feedback... but to re-think the negative.

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#7 of 88 Old 06-15-2014, 08:36 AM
 
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Since reading Alfie Kohn several months ago, I don't give much praise or positive feedback, for the reasons already discussed here.

But what about negative feedback? IdentityCrisisMama, you mentioned "be careful". I notice I say this a lot, and am trying to be concious of it/not say it so much. But what about "when you bite your brother it really hurts him" type feedback (because I feel like I say this or similar things constantly, to no effect). Can we just let actions pass without feedback, too? It's obvious that the action causes negative reactions, like crying, or like mama moving the baby away so "play" is interrupted. I guess I personally am struggling with feeling like I must "do" something, like DS will never get it if I'm not constantly reminding. What are your thoughts there?
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#8 of 88 Old 06-15-2014, 09:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BushMama83 View Post
Can we just let actions pass without feedback, too? It's obvious that the action causes negative reactions, like crying, or like mama moving the baby away so "play" is interrupted. I guess I personally am struggling with feeling like I must "do" something, like DS will never get it if I'm not constantly reminding. What are your thoughts there?
Sometimes we can. But the line is crossed when someone else's well being is involved. I feel like I need to advocate for my younger daughter and other kids in these instances. When my girls were younger, that meant biting. Now growing up, it can mean correcting bullyish behavior.

Last year at our camp ground, a lot of the camp kids came to play at our camp and were having a lot of fun until I noticed that one boy was actually being picked on physically. I said, "Hey, we have a rule about rough play. Every body needs to be having fun or it has to stop. He's not having fun." "But.. (insert excuse here)." "If you can't follow our rules, you are not allowed to play at our campsite."

What I did and didn't do: I didn't get involved in their disagreement specifically. Sometimes I think that can be called for, but it's tricky, and I prefer just to leave their business as their business (especially since I would never see these kids again). However, I am very strict about the "everybody on board" rough play rule. I felt like I advocated for this kid without descending into the murky world of kid logic. They played well for a while and went back to their respective camps. Right after, I had to talk to my girls about the boy and that they needed to advocate for this boy if something comes up, not join in. They knew it wasn't right. (Little Lord of the Flies there!)

So, for little kids hitting and biting, the words will sink in but actions might be better. The victim needs to be advocated for if they are having difficulty doing it themselves. It will take years for the lessons to sink in far enough that What Mama Said is remembered before the fist flies. And it's hard to do that, for adults as well. It can take thousands of repetitions for it to sink in.

I've actually allowed certain behaviors that I didn't like before. Sticking out the tongue is now an acceptable comeback. It took me a while before I could let go of my feelings about the rudeness of it, but on analyzing it, I realized that it can convey a message (I'm angry and this is what I think of you) without name calling or hitting and is easy for kids who can't quite muster the right words. So, stick it out, blow a raspberry, that's fine.

I think that when we find a philosophy we like, changing our old habits takes some practice, and it can feel fake and scripted. However, sometimes that feeling is because we genuinely should be following our gut feeling. You are a part of their life. You share a house. There will be interruptions! Your child's flow is not something Sacred Never to Be Altered in a Parental Manner. Sometimes they *welcome* the interruption (and feedback, since that's what we are talking about here). Sometimes they go off to play because they don't have someone's attention and that can be interpreted as not wanting to step in when in fact it's a coping mechanism (this was my childhood! I know this!)

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#9 of 88 Old 06-15-2014, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That was a great post from SS and I totally agree with all of what she said. I will come back later if I have some more ideas but one of the things I am fond of saying for young kids is, "I will not let you hit/shove/whatever another person." I think kids know it isn't nice. They know it hurts. When I have said "I will not let you hit," and followed that with physically moving the child or otherwise making sure no one gets hurt, I have found that to be a much more powerful (and comforting!) and consistent! message.

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#10 of 88 Old 06-15-2014, 05:30 PM
 
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I do offer feedback - both positive and negative. I think with some kids you have to. My oldest and youngest do not seem to need much feedback - but my middle had a rough time treating people respectfully in the early teen years. I did (repeatedly) offer feedback as she was emotionally hurting people - me, but also her younger sister. As I did not want to only offer negative feedback, I made a conscious effort to also offer postive feedback (obviously not at the same time as the negative feedback - that would have been confusing). It was good for her, but it was also good for me to be reminded of her good qualities during those tricky years.

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#11 of 88 Old 06-15-2014, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I do offer feedback - both positive and negative. I think with some kids you have to. My oldest and youngest do not seem to need much feedback - but my middle had a rough time treating people respectfully in the early teen years. I did (repeatedly) offer feedback as she was emotionally hurting people - me, but also her younger sister. As I did not want to only offer negative feedback, I made a conscious effort to also offer postive feedback (obviously not at the same time as the negative feedback - that would have been confusing). It was good for her, but it was also good for me to be reminded of her good qualities during those tricky years.
I think Kathy's point is a good one. Several of the pro-praise posts here lately talk about the ratio of negative to positive feedback. I can totally see a scenario where a child is in great need for correction and, therefore, in great need also of positive feedback as a balance.

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#12 of 88 Old 06-16-2014, 07:43 AM
 
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SweetSilver, thanks for your response! You make some great points. I think you're right that actions might be better. Because it seems to take forever for the words to sink in!

Kathy, you're so right about balancing with positive feedback, and how it can sometimes serve to remind us of our child's sweeter side!
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#13 of 88 Old 06-16-2014, 11:44 AM
 
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I think there are a lot of ways to give positive feedback, both immediately and later. When my sons were little, I used positive feedback to reinforce appropriate behavior - for example, "I noticed you put your trains away before taking out Legos. Thank you!" Often is was an observation on my part - no opinion, just a fact. "I see you put your clothes away," or "I saw you put on your bike helmet", or "there are a lot of toys on the floor."

Many of those types of comments were in the form of appreciation. I am more likely to say "Thanks for putting the dishes away" than "You did a good job on the dishes."

Obviously age is an issue - young children need feedback sooner. I still give my kids feedback - and they're in college. "You are getting a lot better at time management", or "I can tell you've lost weight." But it is often followed by a question or two: "What have you been doing to keep track of assignments?" or "How did you go about the weight loss?" [this was my son, who was about 30 pounds overweight. Last semester he started working out once or twice a week, and made conscious changes to his eating habits - portion control and limiting snacks. It was a good thing, done in a healthy way.]

My kids don't ever seem to get tired of hearing that I'm proud of them - at least they haven't complained about it yet!
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#14 of 88 Old 06-16-2014, 06:20 PM
 
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My kids don't ever seem to get tired of hearing that I'm proud of them - at least they haven't complained about it yet!
My kids like to have their good work acknowledged. I don't need to gush, but it's usually enough to simply state "You know, I've noticed how hard you've been trying to ________". And no, they don't seem to get tired of it.
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#15 of 88 Old 06-16-2014, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DC does not seem to need or want me to acknowledge what I think is good about her. There are many, many things that I think are totally awesome about her but it feels important for me to keep that off her back. There are times that she has a goal that she will share with me and I will support her in her goal but I don't think my feedback is an important (or helpful) part of the process.

Now, gratitude, I do express to my kids when I appreciate their help. This is not me putting my values on their behavior. I.e. it is not me saying "this is a good thing you are doing" but, rather, I am telling them in an objective way that their help is something that I appreciate.

Again, I think this is different from giving feedback (especially feedback that is motivated by the desire to enforce behavior).

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#16 of 88 Old 06-16-2014, 10:37 PM
 
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I think feedback is important in a relationship, it is how I show I care and know that my family cares for me. I can't imagine a fulfilling relationship happening without it. My dd seems to like my feedback, she seeks it sometimes and I seek hers sometimes, we both seek my parent's feedback too. I don't want to sound snarky, but I really find it hard to understand how a family would function without this closeness, it's just so different from anything I've ever experienced.

I think giving positive feedback to shape behavior is fine as long as it isn't done as a backhanded compliment. Kids get so much negative feedback, through words but also through reading our body language, and I think that is much more damaging than going out of your way to reinforce a behavior you want to keep seeing in a positive way.
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#17 of 88 Old 06-17-2014, 03:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't want to sound snarky, but I really find it hard to understand how a family would function without this closeness, it's just so different from anything I've ever experienced.
No, that's fine -- that's the value of a philosophical discussion, IMO.

I don't think that our family or I look very different from anyone else. I can say that I think it probably functions fine because in a lack of feedback there is also a lack of negative feedback. It also functions in a family where the members know each other. Because I was raised this way I know that it can feel good (for the most part). There is this feeling of unconditionality. For instance, I do know my parents quite well so I know the sorts I things (even now) that I could do that they would like more than other things. They are human and think some things are more interesting than other things. Do I need them to tell me that? I don't think so.

My DC is getting grades for the first time at 12 years old. I have mixed feelings about grades but do think that it's probably for the best that she cares if her marks are ok. I tell her what grades are for and how they can influence her future. I tell her that I have misgivings about grades in the first place. She does not need me to tell her that "good grades" are something I would like for her. She had a goal this year of getting all A's. She never achieved that goal. Rather than praise her I participated in both her joy at the A's she did get and her frustration over the other grades she was less proud of.

Some of this could also be "action over words". There is probably nothing I could say to my DC that reinforces my values more than the things that I do that reinforce my values.

I LOVE that DC keeps her room clean. I don't really talk to her about that - she knows this. I don't want to put any pressure on her to be "better" at it than she already is. She knows I think it's cool and impressive. I show her that it's a trait that I think is good for her because I give her space and time to clean, I keep her toddler sibling out of her room, I am always respectful about how I put things in there (laundry and stuff). I giver her full autonomy on her space.

ALL of that said, I did just seek feedback for a piece of artwork I finished. It was professional in nature and I was very happy to get a response. This is where I think growing up in this way was a little difficult and it was something I will not repeat for my own kids. Where feedback is requested, I think it is often appropriate.

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#18 of 88 Old 06-17-2014, 03:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I should also probably share that I have some odd misgivings about the very act of trying to enforce my own values. I think it's natural that this would happen and it's not like I have a goal to give my child this entirely neutral space to grow...but I would say that I think there is a big ethical question in trying to pass my own values onto my child. That doesn't feel like the goal. The goal, to me, is to give her what she needs to develop her own value system.
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#19 of 88 Old 06-17-2014, 06:43 AM
 
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My mother used to compliment me. "You are looking nice today!" (Teenager translation: "Now that's how you should dress, not all sulky and baggy with your hair all over the place and no make up. You finally look like a young lady, not a hooligan.")

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#20 of 88 Old 06-17-2014, 07:55 AM
 
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I remember misinterpreting a lot of what my mother said and picking fights with her as a teen but I appreciate that she built me up when I felt down. I went through a serious trauma as a teen and there were several times when I chose not to commit suicide because of her constant support and obvious love. She made it so clear with her words that I was valued and her belief in me is what I thought of in dark times, not the misinterpretation.

Kids sometimes don't know the things we think they just know. I think not giving feedback unless asked for it runs the risk of being interpreted by a child as not caring, especially as they get to the developmental stage where they become more interested in social input from others. Combining no feedback unless it's solicited with not teaching values sounds similar to neglect, especially if taken to an extreme and adhered to rigidly.

As for passing on values, I believe it is very important to pass on my values to my child while also teaching her to form her own opinions. Most values are passed on through modeling but I am fine with giving my dd other perspectives to think about. I don't want her getting her values from just her natural inclinations or her friends.
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#21 of 88 Old 06-17-2014, 08:22 AM
 
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Kids sometimes don't know the things we think they just know. I think not giving feedback unless asked for it runs the risk of being interpreted by a child as not caring, especially as they get to the developmental stage where they become more interested in social input from others. Combining no feedback unless it's solicited with not teaching values sounds similar to neglect, especially if taken to an extreme and adhered to rigidly.


If feedback is in low supply but desired, kids might end up seeking it in others, even without being aware of it. I am sure this had something to do with the intensity of my early romances. It's not necessarily a bad thing, though. I don't mean to say it's always bad for kids to seek fulfillment in platonic and romantic friendships and mentors.

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#22 of 88 Old 06-17-2014, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Combining no feedback unless it's solicited with not teaching values sounds similar to neglect, especially if taken to an extreme and adhered to rigidly.
I think you would have to see it in practice.

I think the idea of "no feedback" is interpreted as "no communication" but it shouldn't be. Where someone who was fond of feedback may give a compliment or observation I may choose instead to ask my DC how she feels about something. How my DC feels if the impetus for discussion rather than starting a conversation with my opinion.

I think a lot of this comes down to how we were raised and how we interpreted feedback (or a lack of feedback). Because I didn't have a whole lot and have a generally positive outlook on that, I tend to feel that feedback pales in comparison to other things (like support to meet our own goals, conversation, being there, positive expectations, empathy, unconditional love). I also tend to focus on the times when I interact with my kids where I feel feedback would get in the way of more important things. In the case of my kids, it seems like a good chunk of the times.

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Last edited by IdentityCrisisMama; 06-17-2014 at 02:50 PM. Reason: clarity - beach brain. ;-)
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#23 of 88 Old 06-17-2014, 02:46 PM
 
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Giving kids feedback doesn't mean a parent starts all conversations with their input or gives input in every conversation and it definitely doesn't mean they don't support their children in setting and meeting their goals, love them unconditionally, show empathy, etc... It just means they give their input and encouragement in addition to those things. No parenting style has the market on unconditional love and support there is not only one way to raise children to feel loved unconditionally. Some people thrive on the constant open communication and flow of discussion with the back and forth of opinons that are dear to me and my family and others thrive on different kinds of conversation. I think both ways are fine as long as they aren't taken to extremes and both have an emotional toll when taken to an extreme.
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#24 of 88 Old 06-17-2014, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I agree. My feelings that feedback is not necessary and my descriptions of the ways that feedback seems to interfere with other things between me and my kids should not be interpreted as me thinking that feedback can't be a positive element for other relationships.

It seems to me that the give-in is that kids should have a lot of positive feedback.

But, just as it is important to caution someone like me who doesn't give feedback that perhaps we do not know for sure that our children are't craving it (and it is certainly something I will consider and perhaps even talk to my older DC about), I think it is also fair enough to say that maybe kids who are receiving a lot of feedback may not be conscious or able to express that they don't especially appreciate that form of communication.

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#25 of 88 Old 06-17-2014, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I should also bring this back to the OP and mention that I am primarily talking about feedback where part of the goal (or hoped for bonus) is that our feedback will influence behavior.

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#26 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 06:26 AM
 
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Do you feel that parents should completely 100% avoid having that goal -- to influence behavior?

If not, what do you suggest that is effective to influence behavior that is not extrinsic, and that does not "take them out of the moment", and that is 100% authentic? Something effective that meets all the criteria that you laid out in the OP.
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#27 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 06:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tadamsmar View Post
Do you feel that parents should completely 100% avoid having that goal -- to influence behavior?

If not, what do you suggest that is effective to influence behavior that is not extrinsic, and that does not "take them out of the moment", and that is 100% authentic? Something effective that meets all the criteria that you laid out in the OP.
As unschoolers, we ask that question a lot in regards to education. In this instance "influencing behavior" means something specific: reaching an academic goal. And there are various experiences with that. Some parents and kids are completely comfortable with the parents leaving things around the house for them to be picked up by the child. Others find this behavior "manipulative". That's just one example.

But the main idea is that children will pick up on the basics as they are, and because they are, lived in their lives.

I can have a philosophical conversation with my husband, and explore all kinds of issues. Or I could have almost the same conversation with the intent not only of influencing behavior but reaching the same conclusion, and it would be nothing like the expansive, exploratory conversation I had earlier.

My kids and I have the same kinds of exploratory conversation. I live my life as much "do as I do" as I can.

But I totally agree with ICM that before offering feedback, look and consider what's happening *right now*. When we parents focus on "I'm going to give feedback now" it can be a bit of tunnel vision thinking "This is what's most important right now". Which totally ignores he wonderful things that are happening, and the connection that can happen through that.

But if you don't offer it now, they *might never learn it*!!!! If it's transparent enough, they will. And you just might learn a lot of other, more important things, by *being* with your kid. And you might just find yourself talking about it naturally without any expectation, and there you are. A genuine place.

Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
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#28 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 07:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by tadamsmar View Post
Do you feel that parents should completely 100% avoid having that goal -- to influence behavior?

If not, what do you suggest that is effective to influence behavior that is not extrinsic, and that does not "take them out of the moment", and that is 100% authentic? Something effective that meets all the criteria that you laid out in the OP.
I was thinking about this in the context of One Girl's thoughts on the subject. I tend to be pretty direct and informative when it comes to influencing behavior.

I think we absolutely do influence behavior. I would say that actions speak way louder than words and that sometimes words serve a counter productive purpose.

I would also say that in general praise and criticism have less value than information.

I gave a few examples of simple ways that actions can reinforce behavior or where I thought feedback was not necessary. I'd be interested to hear some examples of where feedback felt necessary where other types of discussion and communication aren't sufficient. One Girl, I know you gave the example of overcoming trauma. That makes sense to me. But what about the day-to-day with our kids?

As far as an authentic way to help kids - I would say it is as simple as handing them a towel to clean up a mess. Tadamsmar, your recent posts and links are part of what got me thinking of this. If you can provide an example of a behavior that you feel is best influenced through feedback we can ponder the ways feedback and other ways of addressing the behavior could work. It would be fun!

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#29 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 07:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

But the main idea is that children will pick up on the basics as they are, and because they are, lived in their lives.
Yep!


Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post
But I totally agree with ICM that before offering feedback, look and consider what's happening *right now*. When we parents focus on "I'm going to give feedback now" it can be a bit of tunnel vision thinking "This is what's most important right now". Which totally ignores he wonderful things that are happening, and the connection that can happen through that.
Yes! I think a lot of times we think of things as consequence free so long as they are well intended. Not so. I know we talked up thread a little about the "what-ifs" of a kid who doesn't get much feedback. I get that. But what of the kids who get a lot? I can totally imagine a child who gets a lot of satisfaction from positive feedback eventually being motivated by that. When we think of play, creativity, art, expression - being motivated by positive feedback can have a negative, for sure.

I'm NOT saying that parents watching closely and who decide that feedback is valuable to their kids are creating praise junkies - I'm really not. But it's something to consider - especially if were talking about hypothetical consequences of giving or not giving feedback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post
But if you don't offer it now, they *might never learn it*!!!! If it's transparent enough, they will. And you just might learn a lot of other, more important things, by *being* with your kid. And you might just find yourself talking about it naturally without any expectation, and there you are. A genuine place.
Yep!

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#30 of 88 Old 06-18-2014, 08:19 AM
 
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As far as an authentic way to help kids - I would say it is as simple as handing them a towel to clean up a mess. Tadamsmar, your recent posts and links are part of what got me thinking of this. If you can provide an example of a behavior that you feel is best influenced through feedback we can ponder the ways feedback and other ways of addressing the behavior could work. It would be fun!
I post in response to parents with conduct problems, so it's mostly specific to that. I don't think I have ever directly advocated praise here, I typically use the term "positive attention" which is meant to be much broader. I explicitly say to avoid generic praise like "Good job". I think praise is never necessary, but I do point to sources that advocate praise because I don't know of better source.

I think the typical mistake that parents make with young kids is to give lots of attention to unwanted behavior which reinforces the very behavior that they do not want. But this seems to me to be a natural, authentic thing for parents to do, since it seems that a large number of parents do it and I don't think they learned to do it from reading a book.

On the other hand, I am not generally anti-praise, except I am against generic praise because it is known to be ineffective, praising a kid's genes as in "You are so smart!" because there is recent evidence that it is or can be very counter-productive, and constant praise (on constant reinforcement of any sort) because it is known to be ineffective in the long run.

My perspective is heavily influenced by scientific evaluations of parenting methods, like for instance this one:

http://www.cebc4cw.org/topic/parent-training/
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