Tuesday, September 4, 2012
To praise or not to praise? And how?
Here's a parenting dilemma I am having lately: Whenever we show interest in or praise something that A-Train does, Bean tries to replicate it louder, faster, etc. Usually they are things that are not impressive in a four-year-old...or are outright obnoxious (especially louder, faster, etc).
He is obviously looking for attention/praise. I have taken to being straightforward and honest, saying things like "that's not cute from you because you are able to talk/run/whatever." Or even "that's really annoying because ______."
I always try to give him a reason, I always try to keep it from being personal (no "you are annoying" or "you are acting like a baby" or anything like that). And often I point out something he does that gets attention that A-Train can't do.
I also have been very careful about other kinds of praise lately. He says things like "aren't I good at _______?" (football, dancing, jumping, etc.) I try to be specific, but he is also very resistant to doing classes/activities to hone any skills, and I don't want to give him a false sense of....expertise, for lack of a better word. People work for years to be good at things. Yes, he can practice a lot of things and get very good at them...
Any thoughts on this?