Stop saying “good job”

Have you ever given a child a complement and they disagreed with the complement you gave them? The child didn’t believe you. Now try saying to them “when the dog cried you saw if he was ok – that is caring.” “When your sister needed a Band-Aid you got one for her. That is helpful and caring.” In our society we are continually saying “good job,” “That is great.” However, we are judging their actions and so children grow up trying to please others instead of appreciating the wonders that they possess inside of them. It’s a tough pattern to break but awareness is key. This week when you find yourself about to say “good job,” think about noticing and describing instead. An example is that your child shows you the picture that he just drew. You could say “You have green lines over here…and lots of yellow and orange over here…..this looks like a sun – you did it.” Watch their expression as you notice and describe their work.

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