Getting away from good job

Sunday, June 23, 2013

"Good job" this praise pops into my head a thousand times a day is a phrase I am trying to stop using.

It sounds like something you'd say to praise a dog not a child- does it then hold that if I do not say 'good job' it is a 'bad job'? That kind of all or nothing approach is sad.  The inherent judgement in the statement is sad.  I want my kids to know that my love and support for them and of them is not dependent on them doing 'a good job'. 

I want my children to be intrinsically motivated not waiting for my praise or my approval.  I want them to get the satisfaction of doing something for themselves.  I want them to be motivated to do something for themselves not for me.  I do not want them to be reward or praise seeking.  I also do not want to manipulate them into doing something.

There has been some discussion as to why parents should reduce saying this phrase- and in large part I agree with them- so I am trying to not say it that much- but what I am I to say when my kids are looking to me for approval?

I have worked on saying 'wow, you worked hard!" or "you should be really proud of yourself!" or asking questions about what they did.  I also make comments about what they did such as "I really like the way you used the triangles here." or something that just declares you noticed what they did.

Clearly, saying 'Good job' is not the worst thing to happen and it will not be catastrophic for them. I will continue to try and work on my internal script. 

1 comments:

Honeybee GB said...

Stating that you think they have done a good job, never go wrong to help children remain more fully intrinsically motivated. The strategy to ask questions about what they did giving children opportunities to evaluate their own accomplishments. Thanks for sharing this.

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