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Discussion Starter #1
So after reading Unconditional Paranting, I quit saying 'good job' to ds for everything, and have been using more specific terms and making obsevations - for example, working on a painting today, Levi says 'Look what I did!', my mom's reaction was to say 'good job', mine was to say 'ohh I like how you used all of the colors, which one is your favorite?'.<br><br><br>
I *think* I get why saying 'good job' all the time isn't helpful, but my question is, how do I explain this to other people? Mainly my mom, b/c she spends a lot of time with him, but also my dad/sister.<br><br>
And what about random people (at the grocery store, people like his swimming teacher, other moms....). Do you say something or let it go?<br><br>
Now that Im aware of it I've noticed how often he is told 'good job' every day, and its gotten anoying
 

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For people dd sees infrequently, I don't bother. I figure she knows they aren't mommy or daddy.<br><br>
For other people, I would approach it by giving things TO say. Telling someone "don't say X to my child" is hard for them to do, and could lead to the focus being on whether "good job" is a bad word or something.
 

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I think you just need to model it for the people who spend a lot of time with your DS. I've noticed my DH and DD gradually pick up on the things I am doing with and saying to the two boys and start implementing it on their own, without me having to specifically tell them "Don't say/do this, do this instead."
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sapphire_chan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15372524"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">For people dd sees infrequently, I don't bother. I figure she knows they aren't mommy or daddy.</div>
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What about friends? There are some friends that my ds spends a lot of time with. All of these are people from a natural paranting group, if that matters.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MamieCole</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15372567"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think you just need to model it for the people who spend a lot of time with your DS. I've noticed my DH and DD gradually pick up on the things I am doing with and saying to the two boys and start implementing it on their own, without me having to specifically tell them "Don't say/do this, do this instead."</div>
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This is what I have been doing, but its been a looong time now and I havent seen much change! My mom was a kindergarden teacher for 15+ years and I think its sort of 'stuck'. My dad and sister see him far less, b/c my sister lives an hour away and my dad works all day and travels for weeks at a time quite often.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>leighi123</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15372638"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What about friends? There are some friends that my ds spends a lot of time with. All of these are people from a natural paranting group, if that matters.</div>
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Modeling will help with them. And I'd talk about it in terms of what you're choosing to do with your parenting. Talk about authentic responses and so forth.<br><br>
Suggest they read UP and Punished by Rewards. Lend them your copy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Personally, I'd let it go.<br><br>
You are the central figure in his life, even if your mom spends a fair amount of time with him. You might be able to change her to being more specific, but is it worth it? (It might depend on your relationship with your mother.)<br><br>
If your mom is open to it, talk to her about the ideas in the book. Ask her what she thinks of them, based on her experience as a teacher. I wouldn't raise this as a "I want you to change" but as a "what do you think of this?" kind of issue. You might get some interesting ideas. Dh and I had a really interesting discussion about some of Kohn's ideas. We're on a slightly different page, but it was kind of fun to talk intellectually about the ideas.<br><br>
For your parenting people, what about suggesting reading the book as a group?<br><br>
But if talking to your mom/reading the book with the group isn't an option, don't worry. "Good job" is really low on my list of things to worry about. I get Kohn's ideas, but I also think that kids can tell where you're coming from. Someone who is genuinely enthusiastic for your child won't harm them, even if they do say "good job" a lot more than you'd like.
 

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yup i agree with lynn.<br><br>
i would totally let it go. you are the central figure.<br><br>
and i also agree - the intention behind the 'good job' is what our kids pick up. for many that's a sign of affection.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> sometimes my dd has picked it up from people around me and told me good job too. and i have smiled big and said thanks.<br><br>
but mostly she models specifics.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>leighi123</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15372638"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What about friends? There are some friends that my ds spends a lot of time with. All of these are people from a natural paranting group, if that matters.<br><br><br><br>
This is what I have been doing, but its been a looong time now and I havent seen much change! My mom was a kindergarden teacher for 15+ years and I think its sort of 'stuck'. My dad and sister see him far less, b/c my sister lives an hour away and my dad works all day and travels for weeks at a time quite often.</div>
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I agree with others that you are the central figure. But I can see how it would be nice if those your ds spends a lot of time with, like your mom. Have you asked your mom if she's familiar with Alfie Kohn? My husband, as an educator, has been exposed to his ideas. I think Kohn has a book related to education field? Then again although he agrees with some of it, it is difficult to adopt unless everyone is on board (in his position it's parents).<br><br>
You can't change what everyone elses says to him, but I would talk to your mom about it.
 

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We've tried to explain why we don't "good girl" our daughter (btw I think "good girl" is even worse because of the gender implications as well as the similarity to dog-command training) to my MIL, who thinks we're crazy, but has mostly stopped doing it and to my Mom, who constantly argues with me about my parenting and whose critique of GD has become exhausting and totally unhelpful. I think I have said some sarcastic things at times out of irritation and this hasn't worked. DH and I have accepted that we're alone in this situation in our family and we're learning to pick our battles.<br><br>
I do have a huge problem with good-girling her when she, for instance, finishes her plate, or calling certain foods "good" and others "bad". I have a history of eating disorders/body dismorphia, and many of the comments that made me feel really bad about myself/my eating habits, etc, came from my grandfather, whom I saw only one week a year when I was little. I do think that these things have an impact. That said, struggling with my own language around bodies and eating is my focus, as it's hard enough to deal with. If my parents had defended me in times when I was vulnerable to my grandpa's comments (saying something like: oh, she has a healthy appetite; or, leave her alone, she's perfectly healthy) or if my mom had been happier with her own body, those words wouldn't have had impact. So that's what I'm focusing on.<br><br>
Well, how about THAT digression. Sheesh.
 

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I agree with LynnS6. Model model model. Talk to your mom/friends if there is an opening. I talked to my mom about telling DD what she is doing under the guise that I'm doing it to help her gain language skills. So when DD (15 mos) climbs to the top of the stairs or catches a ball, we say "you did it! you did _____!" when she eats all of her food, we say "you ate all of your food. That shows mama you were hungry!"<br><br>
I just try to "sell" my ideas in a way that my mom will accept. She's open to working on language development because she thinks DD is behind. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 

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Discussion Starter #11
See I was hoping that by now the modeling would have worked, at least for my mom who spends a lot of time with him (she and I both stay home with him, Im a single mommy and live with my family!)<br><br>
I'm going to see if she will read the book!<br><br>
So I guess I need to just keep on 'making it obvoious' how I respond to ds's acomplishments. When my mom says 'good job', I will add to it with what I would have said-<br><br>
Like at the park, he climbed up a big ladder thing, and said "Look I climbed up all by myself and you didnt have to help me"<br><br>
My mom "good job"<br>
Me " yes I saw how you pulled yourself up using the steps, you got all the way up there!"<br>
Levi "yeah and I used that one and that one...." (pointing at the part he just climbed)<br><br>
Hopefully my mom will 'get it' eventually.... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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I don't have anything scintillating or brilliant to add (my daughter's only one, so I'm still focused on learning about and internalizing the ideas behind unconditional parenting--I don't have much experience to draw on!) but I wanted to say I appreciate this thread because I've been wondering about this exact same thing. I was leaning towards Lori's approach already and now I feel more affirmed to go that route, at least for now.
 

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Would your mom be open to at least reading Alfie Kohn's article, <a href="http://www.alfiekohn.org/parenting/gj.htm" target="_blank">Five Reasons to Stop Saying "Good job!"</a>?
 
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