Do we praise our children enough?I was grocery shopping the other day and overheard a mommy asking her five year old, “Can you get the box of ‘Fruity Choc Crap Oats’ for mommy please?” The child waddled over and retrieved the cereal for mommy.
“Good Job! High Five! Woo Hoo!”T h e c h i l d r e t r i e v e d a b o x o f c e r e a l. Calm down lady. Wouldn’t a “Thank you” be enough for Christmas sake?
Today’s kids get a “Good Job!” and a high five for everything. I have even heard the “Good Job!” encouragement for eating. “Take a bite for mommy. Good Job!”Parents: Consuming life sustaining nutrients is not a “Good Job!” it is called freaking living. Children HAVE TO EAT! Accomplishing this feat – EATING - does not deserve a “Good Job!” an “ATTA BOY” a High Five or a “Woo Hoo!”
Fuck self-esteem. Our children will earn self-esteem by accomplishing real shit. Praising children for completing simple tasks like eating, drinking milk, pooping and peeing, or putting toys away will not give a child self-esteem, it will give the child an inflated perception of his/her position in the world.Children must think, “I pooped and got a ‘Good Job!’? Surely the Sun must revolve around ME!” OK, the very first potty poop needs a high five, but calm down a bit or your little precious will expect something for everything he does.
This “Good Job” “Atta Boy” “Yippee” “Woo Hoo” High fiving fist pumping generation eventually will grow up and earn a living. How will they react when they do not get “Good Job” comment for everything they do?“Gee Mr. Brown, I stacked those shelves very neatly; don’t I get a ‘Good Job!’?”
“Gosh Ms. Prissy I worked really hard on that report; why didn’t you give me a big red ‘EXCELLENT’ and a sticky?”“Damn Mr. O’Brian; I made it to work on time, where is my high five....and a juice box?”
Every child must learn at some time that the world does not revolve around them. It is best if they learn this at home. Benny the Bully, Miss Crabtree the Teacher, or Mr. Douchbag the Boss will not make the lesson easy. You can gently let them know what the world expects of them, or they can find out from people that don’t give a shit about their feelings.Parents - teach your children well, encourage them when appropriate, give them love and affection, but don’t give them false expectations.
You can do it.
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