Is "good job" EVER a good thing to say? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-09-2006, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by geekgolightly
and im telling you that i have a grown man who grew up the way you are describing and he is miserably messed up because of it.
Disn't you say in another post that your dh wasn't guided by his parents? That his parents didn't want to "interfere" by telling them how THEY felt? That they didn't give him feedback on what he did? That they were more or less hands off?

That is most certainly NOT how I am raising ds.

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Originally Posted by Slabobbin
I can already see that my son is proud of himself when he does something cool - it's all over his face. But I also see the joy on his face when *I* recognize how cool it is. I'm sorry but no current parenting fad is going to make me potentially screw my kid up. I wouldn't trade that look on his face for anything. I don't mind telling him that I think something is cool when I really do.
Sure. But do people need to express "that's cool!" in the form of praise?
When ds was learning to climb, I turned around one day and there he was up on the couch. And I said "Wow! You got up on the couch all by yourself!!!" Big smile on my face, excitement in my voice. I'm pretty sure he realized that I thought it was "cool"!!!!
But I didn't feel the need to "evaluate". I'm sure he realized on his own that it was a "good" thing to do (in his opinion) cuz he keeps on doing it lol.

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

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Old 01-09-2006, 02:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by geekgolightly
definitely i had neglectful parents, but if you had actually read my posts you would have read that my husband was raised by his father who is a psych prof and was VERY vested in his child. wanting very much for reed to be a free thinker, independet, not reliant on others ideas but on his own. self sustaining and feeling that he was valid. but without someone to guide him as a young person, including praise and learning how to manipulate situations, he ended up unable to properly care for himself. his father totally regrets it.
I think you're right, he should have had someone to guide him. I think a parent's job is to guide, encourage, teach, love and value his or her child. I think you can do that without constantly judging their actions and "good Job"ing.
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Old 01-09-2006, 03:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ceilydhmama
She was doing it this morning while building something with lego.

"Ok - its not what I planned. I can be sad about that for a minute but then I need to try again. Gosh! I'm creative!"
Wow, you have the cutest kid ever.

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Old 01-09-2006, 03:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sunnysideup
If a parent were offering a candy to a child, for example, every time the child sat on their lap for a book, then the motivation might switch from the personal desire for the story to the reward of the candy. Eventually they may not want to hear a story unless they get the candy. The same can be true when you use praise as a reward. Suzy loves to draw. Mom and dad highly praise every drawing. Eventually, Suzy is no longer intrinsically motivated to draw, she is extrinsically motivated (motivated by the praise). If the praise were to stop, so would her desire to draw. My children have all started walking because they were intrinsically motivated to do so. A parent should expose their child to experiences and activities that will enhance the child's life. I have found that children will be intrinsically motivated (that means they have a personal desire) to try new things. I do not need to offer a reward (extrinsic motivator) for going to the library.


Well, why would a parent need to provide a reinforcer for something the child already does and enjoys (e.g. is intrinsically motivated)? I'm referring to sometimes using external reinforcers for behaviors the child doesn't have yet.

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Originally Posted by sunnysideup
My children have all started walking because they were intrinsically motivated to do so.
Yes, and they will enjoy eating without needing to be taught to do so (usually), and satisfy their curiousity by exploring, and seek out physical contact, and engage in vestibular motion (swinging, rocking, etc), enjoy music, develop fine motor skills, develop gross motor skills, etc without needing any extrinsic motivation. We're born with some things already being intrinsically pleasing to us.

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Originally Posted by sunnysideup
I'm not sure what that has to do with saying "good job"?
Nothing. I personally think using "good job" is too overt a value judgement, and should be used very sparingly, if at all. I was responding to Alfie Kohn's apparent belief that extrinsic reinforcement is always bad, and in competition with intrinsic reinforcement. I think he's wrong about that.
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Old 01-09-2006, 05:20 PM
 
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Well, why would a parent need to provide a reinforcer for something the child already does and enjoys (e.g. is intrinsically motivated)? I'm referring to sometimes using external reinforcers for behaviors the child doesn't have yet.
This is the heart of the issue we are discussing and I agree with you.
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Yes, and they will enjoy eating without needing to be taught to do so (usually), and satisfy their curiousity by exploring, and seek out physical contact, and engage in vestibular motion (swinging, rocking, etc), enjoy music, develop fine motor skills, develop gross motor skills, etc without needing any extrinsic motivation. We're born with some things already being intrinsically pleasing to us.
But earlier you said:
Quote:
What I meant to try to point out was that for most behaviors, extrinsic reinforcement occurs first, followed by, sometimes, intrinsic reinforcement.
That's what I was responding to and what I take issue with.
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Old 01-09-2006, 07:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by geekgolightly
see the thing is, wanting that perfect internal system is really Buddhist and all, but have you REALLY thought about buddhism? about not needing anything from the outside world? about being totally self sustaining and self soothing? its horrific, IMHO. really think on not seeking or wanting any external validation. makes for a sociopath. a buddhist sociopath
Okay, I'm confused. : Who said anything about seeking an perfect internal system?

I know you're not necessarily singling me out, but since Rmeg did respond to something I posted, I felt I need to clarify some things.

In my post, I said that I try not to depend on others for gratification or motivation. I try to provide that for myself, internal rather than external. Some things I do because they make *me* happy or proud to do/accomplish them, not because so-and-so will be proud of me. Not because I'm seeking attention.

And I think the danger of *too much* praise causes people to do just that: they are constantly seeking praise.

However, there is such a thing as *too little* acknowledgement. From what I could gather from your post about your dh, it sounds as if his parents didn't give him ANY sort of guidance, positive or negative. A child cannot navigate for themselves. So that sounds extremely neglectful of his parents, although they thought they were doing the right thing.

There is a need for blanace, I think. Being genuinely impressed at something a child does and telling them so is radically different, I think, from constantly overpraising a child for some trivial little thing.
I would tell my child "wow,you tied your shoes all by yourself!" because I probably would be impressed at the first time she did that. But if she was already doing that for a good while, I would not be telling her "Good job!" each time she did it.

I also said :
Quote:
That's not to say I don't appreciate appreciaton from others. I do. I just don't depend on it.
That doesn't mean that I don't depend on others and don't seek out a support network. I do and I think many of us need that. Humans are social creatures (some more than others, introverts, extroverts, etc.)
But ...No man is an island.... isn't that how the quote starts?

And in the quote from Kohn he specifically says that there are exceptions and qualifications to any finding, but maintains that the basic idea of people being less interested in something the more they are praised for has been proven by many studies.

And finally, I respectfully disagree that Buddhism is about being totally self-sustaining and self-soothing. : I'm interested in where that information came from? Although you're welcome to PM me about that since this is not a thread to debate Buddhism.

I'm not picking on you, geekgolightly. I sincerely apologize if you feel that way, because it is not my intention. My intention is to discuss an idea that you have posted/responded about.

Loon

Loon , dh , dd , and twins ds1 dd2 **Thoughts become things. - Mike Dooley**
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Old 01-09-2006, 08:07 PM
 
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I have not read all the replies to this thread, but I did think of it today when my friend from out-of-state called me to tell me about something that happened in their home this weekend. Ths woman has two boys, 5 and 8, and she's about the best, most patient parent I know.

Her eight-year-old came to her (out of the blue) and said, "Mom, how come you never tell me I did a good job? Don't you like anything I do?"



My friend hastened to assure her son that she thought he did a lot of wonderful things, to which her son replied, "Yeah, but you never tell me they are good. You just talk about them." At this point my friend admitted to me that she did use a lot of description and observation when responding to her son's accomplishments, and that she made sure she always showed appreciation when he helped her out, but that she had actually never said, "Good job!" or "That's great!" She said she had been influenced away from that by Alfie Kohn.

Her son told her that he wants her to tell him he's done a good job when she thinks he has. He's homeschooled, so I don't think that he's been influenced to be a reward-junkie by being in school.



Namaste!
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Old 01-09-2006, 08:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sunnysideup
But earlier you said:
Quote:
What I meant to try to point out was that for most behaviors, extrinsic reinforcement occurs first, followed by, sometimes, intrinsic reinforcement.

That's what I was responding to and what I take issue with.
I'm not sure what you mean. Is it your feeling that all behaviors will eventually develop without any extrinsic reinforcement (that they will all come from a person's desires)?

For a young child, everything they need to learn to do is already built into them due to intrinsic reinforcement (called primary reinforcers -things we are born liking). The things they need to learn to do are intrinsically reinforced (eating is fun, being cuddled is fun, exploring is fun, moving your legs and feet and climbing and running and jumping are fun).

But as they grow older, there are many things they need to learn to do that aren't intrinsically reinforced, and as adults, the majority of things are not initially intrinsically reinforced.
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Old 01-09-2006, 09:19 PM
 
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I'm not sure what you mean. Is it your feeling that all behaviors will eventually develop without any extrinsic reinforcement (that they will all come from a person's desires)?
Maybe I misunderstood you. When you said: What I meant to try to point out was that for most behaviors, extrinsic reinforcement occurs first, followed by, sometimes, intrinsic reinforcement. This was when we had been talking about young children and thier desire to have stories read to them. So, I thought it extreem to think that most behaviors needed extrinsic motivators. I have found that most people are intrinsically motivated to learn most things. I'm not saying all. There are some things we are not motivated to do and an extrinsic motivation might be quite helpful (a paycheck is a good insentive to go to work, for example).

Quote:
For a young child, everything they need to learn to do is already built into them due to intrinsic reinforcement (called primary reinforcers -things we are born liking). The things they need to learn to do are intrinsically reinforced (eating is fun, being cuddled is fun, exploring is fun, moving your legs and feet and climbing and running and jumping are fun).

But as they grow older, there are many things they need to learn to do that aren't intrinsically reinforced, and as adults, the majority of things are not initially intrinsically reinforced.
I don't think this is true. Maybe most adults are no longer intrinsically motivated because they have learned to expect rewards? Why do you think adults do not want to learn? Doesn't jibe with my experience.
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Old 01-09-2006, 09:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by geekgolightly
see the thing is, wanting that perfect internal system is really Buddhist and all, but have you REALLY thought about buddhism? about not needing anything from the outside world? about being totally self sustaining and self soothing? its horrific, IMHO. really think on not seeking or wanting any external validation. makes for a sociopath. a buddhist sociopath


Um, are you Buddhist?
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Old 01-10-2006, 01:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sunnysideup
I don't think this is true. Maybe most adults are no longer intrinsically motivated because they have learned to expect rewards? Why do you think adults do not want to learn? Doesn't jibe with my experience.
Because so much of adult life is about doing things that aren't intrinsically fun. I wish it were otherwise. I think it CAN be otherwise, but I don't know how to do it, or to stop doing things that aren't fun. But aside from that. Things like going to the grocery store, or doing laundry, or getting up every morning at 6am, or sweeping the floor, or washing dishes, or putting gas in the car, or writing thank-you letters, or paying the bills, or returning the videos on-time... none of these things started out intrinsically reinforcing. At first, sweeping the floor, before I knew how to sweep, I guess I needed my mother to teach me, and I needed her to say, "wow, the floor looks good." Now I can say that to myself for myself. I didn't even know to care that the floor was dirty until someone else placed a value on clean floors. I see the same sort of thing in my 12-mth DD. She loves to be dirty (and I love to see her having fun, so we're both quite dirty alot) but she sees no value in being clean, and she doesn't have to have that value yet. At some point that will need to be a value she has, and without an external force pointing out the value in being clean, I don't think she would really learn, since if no one ever said anything about having a dirty face and everyone ran around with a dirty face there wouldn't be anything intrinsically reinforcing about washing your face. Does that make sense? So many of our values as adults are given to us by other adults as we grow up and now they have become intrinsic values.
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Old 01-11-2006, 04:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Deva33mommy
Disn't you say in another post that your dh wasn't guided by his parents? That his parents didn't want to "interfere" by telling them how THEY felt? That they didn't give him feedback on what he did? That they were more or less hands off?

That is most certainly NOT how I am raising ds.
so you give out value judgements to your child? because if you dont, then what youa re doing is echoing things he can sort for himself.


Quote:
Sure. But do people need to express "that's cool!" in the form of praise?
When ds was learning to climb, I turned around one day and there he was up on the couch. And I said "Wow! You got up on the couch all by yourself!!!" Big smile on my face, excitement in my voice. I'm pretty sure he realized that I thought it was "cool"!!!!
But I didn't feel the need to "evaluate". I'm sure he realized on his own that it was a "good" thing to do (in his opinion) cuz he keeps on doing it lol.
its good youa re excited for him, but WHY do you have this fear or aversion to value judgements?

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Old 01-11-2006, 04:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sunnysideup
I think you're right, he should have had someone to guide him. I think a parent's job is to guide, encourage, teach, love and value his or her child. I think you can do that without constantly judging their actions and "good Job"ing.
what is it with the "constantly" thing? are you saying that you NEVER value judge or that you dont do it "constantly?" and why do you assume i do it "constantly?" or are you throwing constantly in there for no reason?

i love to tell seth GOOD JOB! when he has done a good job at something. i also tell him a million other things! WHO CARES if i say GOOD JOB or WHOA THATS AMAZING or YOU DID IT ALL BY YOURSELF SETH! why do you people get so weird about GOOD JOB?

its a value judgement. the world is full of them and it isnt a BAD thing. (irony hahaa)

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Old 01-11-2006, 04:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by loon13
Okay, I'm confused. : Who said anything about seeking an perfect internal system?

I know you're not necessarily singling me out, but since Rmeg did respond to something I posted, I felt I need to clarify some things.

In my post, I said that I try not to depend on others for gratification or motivation. I try to provide that for myself, internal rather than external. Some things I do because they make *me* happy or proud to do/accomplish them, not because so-and-so will be proud of me. Not because I'm seeking attention.

And I think the danger of *too much* praise causes people to do just that: they are constantly seeking praise.

However, there is such a thing as *too little* acknowledgement. From what I could gather from your post about your dh, it sounds as if his parents didn't give him ANY sort of guidance, positive or negative. A child cannot navigate for themselves. So that sounds extremely neglectful of his parents, although they thought they were doing the right thing.

There is a need for blanace, I think. Being genuinely impressed at something a child does and telling them so is radically different, I think, from constantly overpraising a child for some trivial little thing.
I would tell my child "wow,you tied your shoes all by yourself!" because I probably would be impressed at the first time she did that. But if she was already doing that for a good while, I would not be telling her "Good job!" each time she did it.

I also said :
That doesn't mean that I don't depend on others and don't seek out a support network. I do and I think many of us need that. Humans are social creatures (some more than others, introverts, extroverts, etc.)
But ...No man is an island.... isn't that how the quote starts?

And in the quote from Kohn he specifically says that there are exceptions and qualifications to any finding, but maintains that the basic idea of people being less interested in something the more they are praised for has been proven by many studies.

And finally, I respectfully disagree that Buddhism is about being totally self-sustaining and self-soothing. : I'm interested in where that information came from? Although you're welcome to PM me about that since this is not a thread to debate Buddhism.

I'm not picking on you, geekgolightly. I sincerely apologize if you feel that way, because it is not my intention. My intention is to discuss an idea that you have posted/responded about.

Loon

youre not picking on me at all. you make the most sense of anyone here. good job!

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Old 01-11-2006, 04:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama


Um, are you Buddhist?

i seriously dont know if youa re kidding or not. did you read my post?

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Old 01-11-2006, 11:18 AM
 
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Yes, I read your post, and I figured you probably weren't Buddhist. My point is, if you're not Buddhist, you're probably not well-schooled in Buddhist philosophy and/or you don't really understand Buddhism, and therefore you shouldn't go around making such assinine and inflammatory statements about someone else's religion.
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Old 01-11-2006, 01:30 PM
 
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I have been thinking about this thread a great deal and something was really bothering me but I could not put my finger on it until last night when I was awake with a "have-to-go-potty-every-fifteen-minutes" child.

I am not a praiser. I was not told "good job" as a child unless my parents were very truly impressed which was not frequently. I got decent grades but was not praised for it. I had a few activities and talents, only one was I truly good at but enjoyed the rest. My parents were always supportive, kind, guiding, etc.....but not praisers. Not sure why. They were not the parenting book reading type. I grew up without the feeling that I should do that. dh grew up in a good-job-you-stancked-the-blocks house. He is a praise junkie. We have had trouble in our marriage because he does not feel I acknowledge him enough. He wants me to say good job when he empties the dishwasher or vacuums. I am more in the camp of noticing that he does things like this and recipocating with a treat or doing one of his dreaded jobs but without discussion. He needs pats on the back at work to feel like he is doing a good job. Over the last two years he has started to see where this came from as he was mindlessly doling out "good jobs" to dd. He started to notice that his mom still does this to him on the phoen. Without coaching or discussion from me he decided to stop saying good job to dd on a regular basis. We are excited with her when she accomplishes something , discuss the finer points of her drawings, remark about trying a new food, but none of these is a praising sort of way.

So I was trying to think of why it was really bothering me. I was on the swim teamgrowing up. I sucked at swimming. I liked it and I liked being in it with my friends. I knew I was not very good but did not care. Bad swimmers did not drag the team down. They did not get points taken away if I sucked. So I was happy. My parents really wanted me to stay on the team in an effort to make sure I got enough exercise. They sort of pushed me beyond the point when I started to not like it so much. At swim meets, my mom would always gush about what a greta job I did when I ended a race....last. I knew it was not a good job. It was not even a greta effort. It felt very fake and phoney coming from someone that did not yell good ob when I got an A in math. I started to really hate it and asked her to quit coming to my meets.

Another example was band in High School. I play the clarinet. Still do. I was quite good and was always first chair. All throughout high school we had marcging and concert band competitions. We got scored and got a one, two, or, three based on some judges opinions. Our director gushed year after year about how great and exceptional our band was. Good jobs all over the place. These were reinforced with all ones in competitions. Surely we were great. I felt like we were great based on these gushings. I am pretty sure they were not even gushings, but they seemed like it to me with my non-gushing parents. When I went on to college and started mingling with people from other schools, I started to learned the truth. All band directors do this. We were not special or exceptionally good. All of my friends claimed the same exception, all ones, etc..... I felt really cheated. I felt like I was lied to.

I still play clarinet in a symphony orchestra becasue I enjoy it. Not for the praise. We get no praise now. I am still motivated to play and get better. In fact I like it much better now because I am doing it for the enjoyment of the music. Not for a "one" or a "good job".
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Old 01-11-2006, 03:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by geekgolightly
youre not picking on me at all. you make the most sense of anyone here. good job!
well, I'm glad my post made sense, then.

But I give! I post about not saying "good job" only to get a "good job" from you.

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Old 08-04-2006, 01:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie
I disagree with this. I wonder about his research, or his review of the literature.

Most behaviors start out extrinsically reinforced and then become internally reinforced, NOT THE OPPOSITE. If you want to teach a child to enjoy books, then read to them alot, starting young, before they have any idea what the story even is. The reinforcement for them is, at first, the parent's obvious approval and delight when then point to pictures on the page, turn the pages, bring the parent a book to read to them, cuddling on the parent's lap, etc. This is just one example. Learning to read does not become intrinsically reinforcing for a long time. All those letters you have to learn, and the sounds of the letters... Using praise/positive reinforcement to get through this part of learning which doesn't have much intrinsic reward will help them get to the part that DOES have the intrinsic reward much faster.

Many, many behaviors are like this. I would guess that MOST behaviors, especially social ones, start out externally reinforced and then become internally reinforced as skill increases. If you refuse to use any external reinforcement, then it will most likely just delay acquistion of those skills that could be a great source of internal enjoyment in later years.
youre right. young ones arent internally regulated. they learn to internally regulate by learning that what they do is valued and worthwhile. after much reinforcement from parents, they begin to believe this and incorporate it into the vision they develop of themselves.

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Old 08-04-2006, 02:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
Yes, I read your post, and I figured you probably weren't Buddhist. My point is, if you're not Buddhist, you're probably not well-schooled in Buddhist philosophy and/or you don't really understand Buddhism, and therefore you shouldn't go around making such assinine and inflammatory statements about someone else's religion.
sorry i know this is months old, but im surprised and hurt. not only am i buddhist, but im well aware of precepts of buddhism and the basis of all sects of buddhism are the four noble truths http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/fourtruths.html and in there the whole thrust of this is being unattached and not needing anything from anyone. the buddhist path has allowed me to let go of many of my compulsions, but its not end all be all for me. i see fault in it like everything else. i would never want to walk this earth as an enlightened being. too depressing. i enjoy a certain amount of attachment.

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Old 08-04-2006, 02:08 PM
 
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Why on earth not? I haven't read all the posts in this thread, just the first couple, so perhaps someone does have insightful reasons not to say this. But to me, it's just one of many appropriate ways to praise and encourage a child. I don't have a problem with the specific language used. Not sure why it would be bad??? It's more about your attitude, tone of voice, intentions, etc, than the actual words. Different language has different meaning to different people as well. Some people think you should never tell a child no. I find that peculiar, unnecessary and nearly impossible. It's a simple word which conveys a message. The message is important and is clearly and readily conveyed with one word. It's *how* people use the word no that makes all the difference in the world. Personally I think people can get too wrapped up in the precise wording and lose the message/intention/purpose/desired outcome.

I tell my kids "good job". And a lot of other things. I have this little fridge magnet that reads 101 ways to praise your child and it has all these different ideas, everything from "good job" to "you tried hard" to "I have fun with you" etc, etc, etc...
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Old 08-04-2006, 04:27 PM
 
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*double post*
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Old 08-04-2006, 04:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by geekgolightly
not needing anything from anyone.
That's where you are wrong. The entire monastic tradition is based on monks relying on lay people. The Buddha NEVER said that we should not rely on others. Even lay people can become enlightened, and most lay people are householders who have family and friends and lives they love. It's not about not loving and not having enjoyment. (In fact, I think that the Dalai Lama is one of the most loving and joy-filled people in the world.) It's about not being so attached to your love and enjoyment that it interferes with your equilibrium.

I am sorry that I hurt your feelings with what I said, but if you actually think that being unattached in the Buddhist definition of the word makes you a sociopath, I think you are misunderstanding basic Buddhist teachings. And if you don't want to become enlightened, why are you even Buddhist? (And that's a rhetorical question, I don't actuall ywant an answer.) That's kinda like saying, "I am Christian but I don't love God."

Namaste!
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Old 08-04-2006, 10:09 PM
 
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I haven't really done much reading up on this topic but it has been discussed a few times by moms in the AP playgroup I belong to. I do tell my 3 year old good job, I also say you did it when that is more appropriate to the situation. But I grew up very similar to the story you told. I never really heard "good job" or other similar phrases. I was a good student and would get like a 98 on a test or something and my mom would always act like that was ok but why didn't I get a 100. I did read an article once that says you shouldn't say things like "good job" or "thats pretty" when your child paints a picture because you don't want them to be creative in ways they think will please you, you want them to be creative in ways that please them. But like you said doesn't everyone like to hear a form of good job when they work hard.

I just don't see that it is so horrible to tell a child good job. Of course I guess it can be overdone. But if they learn a new skill or accomplish something they have been working long and hard on I don't see the problem.

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Old 08-05-2006, 12:35 AM
 
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i guess this is an old thread, but i'll add my 2c.

i mostly agree with AK. i haven't found a need to start saying good job to my DS yet, and he's 20 months. in fact we haven't had to do any concerted effort at external motivation. if we need it once in a while to get over a hump with something i'm not totally opposed, but i don't want it to be the first tool i reach for in our toolbox.

i totally agree with devamommy about reacting positively rather than praising. by reminding myself to not just reflexively say good job i find not only that i'm more descriptive and genuine in saying what i like in the moment, but i also have just settled into sharing the joy with him when he does something cool. and i can see how thrilled he is when he sees how thrilled i am and so on back and forth i don't see myself as standoffish or withholding guidance at all.

EC has been a big part of me learning about parenting this way, btw. i've just taken advantage of his natural developmental capabilities and inclinations to get him potty trained rather than having to push the issue with extrinsic motivation later in life, or wait even longer until he's internally motivated to unlearn the diaper habit and learn the potty habit.

ds goes to daycare part time and it amazes me just how often the workers there say good job!! just for doing the normal behaviors that you would expect a child to do, they get a constant stream of good jobbing. i can see how in a family that doesn't use good job a lot a child would come home wondering why they don't hear it - it is everywhere.

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James 12/04 & Cecelia 4/07
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Old 08-05-2006, 01:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
That's where you are wrong. The entire monastic tradition is based on monks relying on lay people. The Buddha NEVER said that we should not rely on others. Even lay people can become enlightened, and most lay people are householders who have family and friends and lives they love. It's not about not loving and not having enjoyment. (In fact, I think that the Dalai Lama is one of the most loving and joy-filled people in the world.) It's about not being so attached to your love and enjoyment that it interferes with your equilibrium.

I am sorry that I hurt your feelings with what I said, but if you actually think that being unattached in the Buddhist definition of the word makes you a sociopath, I think you are misunderstanding basic Buddhist teachings. And if you don't want to become enlightened, why are you even Buddhist? (And that's a rhetorical question, I don't actuall ywant an answer.) That's kinda like saying, "I am Christian but I don't love God."

Namaste!
Thank you for saying this Dharmamama...my understanding of Buddhism is that the suffering part comes from being out of balance...from attaching to things so you suffer when you lose them/can't have them and that by understanding this and finding a balance you can minimise and stop suffering in the desire to hold onto/find those things you are attached to.

I am a much more joyful and happier person as I learn to let go of things...but if you let go to the point of suffering you have not gained balance. Maybe then you have attached too much to the idea of perfection.

as to the discipline issue. I often will say to my kids "are you proud of yourself?" or "you probably feel very proud of yourself" and if they are I will say "I am proud of you too" or "yes, that's something to feel proud of"

I basically try to help them identify their own feelings..not project mine.

namaste
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Old 08-05-2006, 02:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
I have not read all the replies to this thread, but I did think of it today when my friend from out-of-state called me to tell me about something that happened in their home this weekend. Ths woman has two boys, 5 and 8, and she's about the best, most patient parent I know.

Her eight-year-old came to her (out of the blue) and said, "Mom, how come you never tell me I did a good job? Don't you like anything I do?"



My friend hastened to assure her son that she thought he did a lot of wonderful things, to which her son replied, "Yeah, but you never tell me they are good. You just talk about them." At this point my friend admitted to me that she did use a lot of description and observation when responding to her son's accomplishments, and that she made sure she always showed appreciation when he helped her out, but that she had actually never said, "Good job!" or "That's great!" She said she had been influenced away from that by Alfie Kohn.

Her son told her that he wants her to tell him he's done a good job when she thinks he has. He's homeschooled, so I don't think that he's been influenced to be a reward-junkie by being in school.



Namaste!
That is really interesting. When I was a kid I often longed to hear "good job!" from my parents, too. But as an adult I have attributed this to the completely out-of-balance emotional atmosphere in our home.

I studied piano as a child and when I had practiced really hard and was playing a piece proudly in the living room, I would always secretly hope that one of my parents would come in and start clapping for me when I was done, and tell me how impressed they were...

But then I always was a praise junkie.

I bet this is one of those things that varies by kid. The more I read people's posts and different books and the more I see what people do with their kids IRL, the more I think that no parenting principle, however worthy, holds for *all* kids. I really try these days not to be evaluative (and I'm trying to get DH to do this too), but maybe some kids do kind of need the "good job"? Not because they have been brought up to expect it, but because they are just intrisically...more extrinsically motivated?

I am WAY more extrinsically motivated than intrisically and have been since childhood, again I always figured this was because my parents screwed up, but...maybe not!
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Old 08-05-2006, 02:05 AM
 
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where the heck have i been?
I have never heard this before and don't agree with it.
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Old 08-05-2006, 03:38 AM
 
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I'm reading through this thread and I'm still baffled by why the words "good job" are an issue? It's just one of many phrases. Why do people get so hung up on word choices when it is our overall behavior that really counts? The precise meaning of the language involved may be strongly influenced by personal values or by context or by timing of praise or even tone of voice. "Nice job" could be snarky or filled with excitement. "Nice job" could be praising the effort put into something or the outcome. And what on earth is wrong with positive feedback specifically for a positive outcome? Not suggesting that *only* positive outcomes deserve positive feedback. But sometimes they do. And at other times, we encourage our kids by praising effort.
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Old 08-05-2006, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by monkeys4mama
I'm reading through this thread and I'm still baffled by why the words "good job" are an issue? It's just one of many phrases. Why do people get so hung up on word choices when it is our overall behavior that really counts?
I think the issue with "Good job" or "good boy" is that they are a judgement. It is MY judgement of someone else's actions. What is important, of course, is that someone's judgement of their own actions. I feel the same way about other phrases that carry the same value judgement.

Quote:
And what on earth is wrong with positive feedback specifically for a positive outcome?
absolutely nothing is wrong with positive feedback. Its just the judgement part that I take issue with.
So, as an example, when ds pets the dog gently, if I feel a need to say anything at all, I'd say "oohhh, Brooke likes it when you pet her like that! Look how happy she looks." Instead of "good job petting Brooke gently."
The former gives a lot of information about how his actions are affecting others, and gives him the *real* reasons for feeling good about what he did. The "praise" and the judgement comes from himself "oh, I made brooke feel good. That's a good thing to do." Instead of thinking that the reason he ought to pet her gently is because *I* have said it was good.
Does that make sense?

He gets lots of feedback. And I'm DEFINITELY not witholding praise because I think what he does isn't good enough (like in the pp who said that her mom wouldn't say much about a 98% on a test, because she could have gotten a 100%). I just don't think that he needs my judgement of the situation, to know for himself what is "good" and what isn't.

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

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