Do I know that it is impossible to teach a child to do something for the sake of praise (read – assessment)? I know, of course, how not to know. It’s practically written on every fence.
Well, if not on the fence, then in every book, on every forum and in every social network for sure.
Do I praise the children in moderation and “correctly” (that is, according to what is written in the books)? Rarely.
Most often, stupid phrases like “you are just great!”, “You are my good girl” or something else “you are my sweetie pie.” It goes to both daughter and son. The fact that something needs to be done with this, I guessed not even because the authors of clever books about parenting spent a lot of time to work out the only correct approach to this problem.
Alarmed me more. The other day I cooked another soup and Nick approached me with such a constructive proposal: “Mom, let me build a castle of Lego, and you will praise me and rejoice, because little men will live in the castle”. No, well, I certainly will rejoice and, of course, praise.
But what is the question.
My journey as a mother began with one of the books, where it was written that the child needs approval, praise and all kinds of support from parents. I do not remember how extensively this topic was disclosed there, but since then I have become so accustomed to praise, admire, and give marks that I have completely ceased to notice the other side of the coin, where excessive praise can do much harm.
Therefore, now I seriously decided to correct my imprudent behavior and began to understand.
In the book “How to talk, so that children listen, and how to listen, so that children talk,” Adel Faber and Elaine Mazlish rightly said: “Praise is a very difficult thing.” Difficult, because it can cause not the effect that you expect.
Why is excessive praise dangerous? A sort of Deferambes, like “we are the most talented in the world,” “you are the most honest,” “you are conscientious”, can lead to what the child will feel: parents consciously exaggerate his merits, he is not so conscientious and not always honest , he himself knows it.
And as a result, anxiety appears. The child feels that he “does not reach” the high level set by the parents.
If he knows that somewhere he does not match his assessment characteristic, he risks concentrating on his shortcomings or even suspect parents of trying to manipulate.
“The psychologist knows that children are eager to get rid of global praise — it’s too tiring,” Faber and Mazlish write in their other book, Free Parents, Free Children.
Tracy Katchlow in the book “From 0 to 5” confirms this theory and in addition to this considers the consequences of generalized praise and praise related to specific actions. Sooner or later, she observes, children either have an orientation toward predestination, or an orientation toward development. The first is the feeling that your innate abilities are all that you have.
The second is an understanding that the more you work, the more you get. It is not difficult to guess that the latter are more successful and industrious.
And the children who are praised for their deeds come to the installation for development.
When I praise my children, I strive to reinforce their self-esteem. And this is a great way, if only to use it correctly.
There is such a thing – descriptive praise. An adult respectfully describes what he sees or feels.
Then the child, having heard the description, is able to praise himself.
I remember how I came to the seminar to the author of the book “The Miracle of Montessori” Elena Timoshenko. This, in particular, was that it is impossible to evaluate the child. Then I was indignant more than I understood the principle: how then can the child be explained where he is right and where is not ?!
And an example of descriptive praise really helps not to evaluate, but to approach the child’s actions qualitatively and carefully.
Nick eventually built her castle from the designer. One wall was significantly higher than the others, the inhabitants of the castle were lying on the floor, as if after an earthquake, it was obvious that something distracted her daughter, and she was bored to finish the job. Before giving my child the promised praise, I wondered: what will she feel when I issue my standard “oh, this is the best lock I’ve ever seen.”
Surely she will understand that this is a reception for the sake of reception, that this is far from the best lock she is capable of. She knows that she was distracted and did not complete the work. I said: “I like how you set up columns throughout the hall and provided two windows in the castle wall, now its inhabitants will be more comfortable.” “Yes, Mom, and they will be able to admire the dawn when they wake up,” Nick exclaimed, and with new powers went to “wake up” princes, princesses, elephants and giraffes wallowing around.
It turns out that descriptive praise not only inspired, but also aroused a new interest in the work. And, obviously, helped to make a step towards the installation on the development.
When we talk about praise, we must also talk about criticism. First of all, these two concepts are somehow nearby. Both that, and another is the characteristic of actions of the child.
The main secret here is that criticism can, and sometimes should turn into praise.
Imagine a schoolboy notebook. A dictation is written in it in a terrible hand without a single mistake. What does an ordinary teacher write in red ink with an exclamation point?
That’s right, he writes: “Disgusting handwriting!” Does the teacher write some remark that the student tried and did not make a single mistake in dictation? No, most often does not write. And what does the child see?
He sees red ink everywhere: disgusting handwriting, a missing comma (who cares that it’s so one of three pages, and missed by inattention? No one will understand, excuses are not accepted), miscalculated, did not draw the field, or worse : used not the solution that was in the textbook.
My children are not even schoolchildren yet, therefore examples come to my mind only from my personal practice. Already in the first grade I was able to count well for my age.
Dad taught me to add and subtract three-digit numbers in my mind, and also solve examples with negative numbers. And so, the lesson of mathematics.
Check homework. In the workbook there was an example: 3-5 =?
I wrote the answer: -2. The teacher passes through the rows and checks who decided what and how.
The whole class pulls hands: “Here is a typo, here is a typo.” I know that the negative number in the first grade does not pass, but I can decide, why not decide? Do you know what my teacher told me when she saw the correct answer?
She said: “Never do that!” It happened more than 20 years ago, and I remember everything now. I was shocked. And I’m still in shock.
At that moment I learned what injustice is, I realized that no one at school would encourage any additional knowledge, and most importantly, for the first time I thought about how teachers behave and how they should behave.
However, there are different teachers, for example, Olga Vasilievna Uzorova, a teacher-practitioner, author of textbooks for preschoolers and primary school, told me about correct praise: “Many children are happy to go to school on September 1. But not a week goes by, as the word “school” makes the child more and more depressing.
Why? How can this be fixed?
For any child, the situation of success is very important. If your child is a schoolboy, then it is important for him to be successful in this social role.
Of course, in schools there is an individual approach to students. But best of all an individual approach to his child will be found by his family. No one except the closest person will be able to see the very first microsteps of the first victory: “the tail of the letter U turned out just wonderful!”
And it does not matter that the word “fishing pole”, in which the remaining letters, including the first element of the letter Y, turned out awful, light carcass.
Because the first success that was noticed inspires the child, he begins to believe in himself. Lots and lots of support for the child – and your strong baby joyfully and confidently walks along the Knowledge Road. ”
Olga Uzorova, Julia Gippenreiter, Faber and Mazlish, Tracy Katchlou, Maria Montessori, Elena Timoshenko, Richard Templar – I so wanted to figure out how to praise the children that appealed to the opinion of each of these authors. It turned out that all of them, albeit using different terms, offer essentially the same solution: the child must be praised for his actions.
It became much easier for me as a mother when I realized this.
A two-year-old son approached me with a craftwork from kindergarten. It was a cucumber cut out of green colored paper with pasted plasticine “pimples”. The child had a solemn look.
I gathered all my knowledge into a fist and issued: “Slavochka! This is the best work in the world!
You are with me … “I stopped before saying” the best artist. ” Habit conquered all my knowledge.
It is not as easy as it seemed. “You cut out this cucumber so smoothly and realistically placed all the plasticine circles,” I gathered. The son began to shine.
Incorrect praise may:
- Make you doubt who praises.
- Lead to immediate denial.
- Foreshadow troubles.
- Make you focus on your shortcomings.
- Generate anxiety or interfere with your activity.
- Perceived as a manipulation.
How to praise a child:
- Focus on the actions and deeds of the child, pay attention to the details.
- From what was done by the child, choose what worked best.
- Use descriptive praise method.
- Summarize: “you have worked well”, “that’s what I call perseverance,” “you can be proud of yourself.”
- Get away from global praise, it can hurt.
- Avoid praise that hints at weaknesses or failures in the past.
- Make sure that your immense enthusiasm intersects with the child’s desire to achieve something on their own.
- If you have given free rein to your initial reaction, but you must learn to supplement it with deeper observations.
- If you want to praise something that should have happened like this, you can say about your feelings, for example, “I got a special pleasure from today’s family dinner.”
- Avoid the phrase “I knew that you would succeed.” You did not know and could not know. And the child may feel that his efforts are not taken into account.
- Accept the mistakes of children and take them as part of the learning process.
- Do not allow yourself to compare a child with anyone, either with praise or criticism.