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?

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