Not all praise is created equal

April 17, 2016

I read this article Good Boy: There’s a Better Way to Praise Your Kids – it is a good read for all parents, especially parents of toddlers.   It is a study that follows mother-child interactions over the course of five years and to see how parental praise impacts a child’s development.

The study clearly shows that the kind of praise children receive affects their attitudes later in life, particularly that that praise with feedback helped children cope with difficult situations better than compliments.  The article also goes on to say “Praising the efforts, actions and work of the kid is going to be more beneficial in their long-term persistence and [desire] to be challenged and work hard in the future.”

They referred to this as “process praise” which includes comments such as “You worked really hard” or “You’re doing a great job,” which emphasize the child’s actions. “Person praise”, or what I call compliments, includes comments like “You’re so smart” or “You’re so good,” which focus on a child’s inherent qualities.

Another revelation from the study involved how we tend to praise boys and girls differently.  In the study parents gave boys and girls the same amount of praise, but boys received 24% process praise, while girls received only 10% of this type. The inequality could have consequences for how girls evaluate their abilities as they progress in school and may play a role in some of the self-esteem issues that become more common among teens and adolescents.

Coming up up down South where girls are bred to be thin, pretty, and preferably quiet I find this particularly interesting.  Little Southern Belles in training are frequently praised for their God-given or plastic surgeon purchased looks but, aside from their ability to plan a lovely party, are rarely praised for the traits we find so praise worthy in men.  On the contrary, we are often faulted for having some of the same traits.  A man is driven, a lady is “overly aggressive”.

I was just half-joking with a female colleague a few days ago about this very thing.  Why we wondered is a man described with words such as assertive, self-started, motivated, and “driven” when a lady with the same traits is not considered a lady at all but rather a witch spelled with a capital B?

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When a Shiny Penny Trumps a Dollar

September 14, 2015

My little Mini Me just tickles me so much sometimes! She recently celebrated her sixth birthday and two separate people sent her birthday cards with $6 in them. She was confused at first, as she still thinks shiny coins are far preferable to boring old bills. After her father and I explained the value of a dollar and that received one pennydollar for each birthday she had celebrated she thought this was pretty neat.

Fast forward to this week… she is signing birthday cards for two of her younger cousins and dashes off and comes back with a penny for each card. When I asked what the penny was for, she said “since I do not know how many dollars old they are I want to give them a pretty, shiny penny instead”. 🙂

I love the way her mind works! So cousins, if you are reading this now you know why there is a penny in your child’s birthday card.


Letting down while letting go…

August 16, 2013

I just sold the breast pumps I used while nursing Jellybean. I am having separation anxiety.

Crazy thing happened when I pulled the pumps out to get them ready for their new owner, I had the ‘letting down’ sensation and an strong urge to nurse. I wonder if that has ever happened to anyone else before.


Time out for behavior issues?

January 2, 2013

I read some good advice today on using time out to change negative behaviors…

When children are doing things that are unwelcome or dangerous, redirection is the key. Sitting in time out with your child is also key when trying to TEACH the correct way to behave. Time out is not meant to be a place where kids go to be forgotten. ‘Time out’ is time to think about the situation at hand. If “Johnny” is hitting then take Johnny to the nearest step,seat, curb, or spot away from his actions and say “We are taking a time out, we don’t hit. Hitting hurts.” Sit with him and hold him gently and lovingly. Time out should not be bad. Who can think straight when they are mad? If Johnny hits you when you sit with him, hold his hands and repeat the same words a little more firmly. Then quickly remind him “When you are nice, we can go back and play” Children act out because they want attention. Give positive attention for positive behavior. Give positive examples when they are using negative behaviors. If “Johnny” hit his friend, lovingly dote on the friend and say “I am SO sorry Johnny hit you, hitting isn’t nice. I don’t hit MY friends” and then hug or cuddle the friend. Johnny will be watching and seeing you give that attention….chance are, he’ll want to be a part of THAT. People who put kids in cribs or their rooms aren’t teaching the kids anything, simply moving the annoying kid away from them and increasing the chances of angry, bad behavior.

I also had someone suggest that when we are having a an issue with a particular item (either not wanting to share a toy or turn off the iPad), to put the problem toy or item in time out. I am not sure how Dora the Hamster would like being on top of the refrigerator but the next time we have a tantrum over the iPad I think we may be putting it in time out!


Happy 3rd Birthday Jellybean!

August 31, 2012

It is hard to believe it but my little Jellybean is now three years old and speaking in complete sentences!

Here she is at her first of three birthday parties!

Jellybean Turns Three!

Jellybean adjusting her birthday hat with her grandmother.


Jackpot Baby!

August 10, 2012

Jellybean was sitting on my bed the other day while I was piddling in the other room when suddenly I hear her yelling, “Mommy, Mommy, come quick!  Mommy there are so many of them! Mommy, hurry!”

Petrified there was a band of bees, or some other plague, swarming in my bedroom I came flying in the room to see my little bundle of joy dancing in a pile of $20 bills!  “Look Mommy,” she exclaimed, “they are twenties! And look, there are more!”  She was so very proud of her little jackpot!

When I asked where she found this little stash of cash, she proudly produced the remnants of the envelope she found on my bedside table and suggested we go looking for more envelopes so we could find more money for her big piggy bank.  As as excited as she was over “her” jackpot, I had to break it to her that those were not her $20 bills and no, she could not take them to the “big bank”.

I love being a mom!


I can swim! (not)

July 26, 2012

We have been trying to get little Jellybean comfortable putting her head underwater and, while she has the occasional breakthrough, she is still not quite there yet.

After spending some quality time floating on her back, practicing arm strokes, and going almost under water (read: dunking her chin in the water) we decided to take a break and watch the  5-7 year old swim class.  While hanging onto the edge of the pool, watching her older friends really swim she became inspired and decided she could swim too!  The exchange went like this:

JB: Excitedly says “Mommy, Mommy, I can do it!  I am going to do it!”
Me: “You are going to hold your breath and go underwater?”
JB: “No Mommy, I am going to swim! I can do it!”

Before I could get a word in edgewise she mimicked the older class and pushed herself off the side of the pool, kicking and splashing her arms with all of her might she lasted about three seconds, before she sank.

As I lifted her up above water I suggested we try learning the basics first like holding our breath under water and she said no, she would like to stick with her floaties for now.

Talk about peer pressure being a motivator!  Let’s hope that was not too much of a setback!