Post 266: In Praise of, not


We try not to praise our kids,

Sounds almost criminal right? It is one of the main tenants we try adhere to from the many philosophies of child rearing that talk about raising a self confident child.

The premise is, if you praise a child, then the child will always be looking for praise as an end result and not be able accomplish things out of a sense of purpose or fun or just because they want to.

We see it in action ALL the time in the world, in both little people and not so little people. A constant litany of “you can do it, your OK”.

At the park. I have seen parents in a complete frenzy almost yelling at their children, that they were OK and that they could accomplish whatever it was they were trying to accomplish. What I think I see on the child’s face is confusion and often intense fear that results in a lot of crying and disillusionment.

One of the many articles that have been handed out to us at our RIE class is a chapter form Alfie Kohn’s book “Punished by Rewards“. which discusses these issues.

And do we do this without ere? of course not, if Luke makes an awesome thing out of Lego, I usually respond very praiseworthy, I guess I just try not to beat him up with it, that is the part that makes no sense.

But, why did I write this post? Because I find it amazing and yes charming that Lily will praise me and mom when we do things she like or that were done by her asking. She offers a hat to put on and when I put it on I hear, “Good Da!

Day Two Thirty Three

Our first semi successful trip to the park on bikes. I say “semi” only because it was late in the day and at a certain point Lily was done and I had to carry her (and the bike) the rest of the way home. THAT did not deter us from having a good time.

Luke ran into a friend from his school, which was so nice to see. They just instantly start having extreme fun.


I know there will be many more trips to come!

Day One Ninety Five


Luke had a playdate with a girl from his school, she also happens to be the oldest in his school.

I dont want to make any gross statements, but the intensity and style of play seemed so much more in keeping with what I want and wish for Luke.

Recently I have spent a lot of time watching and thinking about Luke’s play. He’s a very physical guy and he runs with big boys at his preschool. There is a lot of driven, physical play and often finger guns or some other make believe weapon is involved. I know that there is a part of Luke that is fascinated by this and more than happy to be involved in any high energy play I also know that it is not necessarily his first choice to be in that style of imaginative play.

His school excels (imho) on how to handle these kinds of situations, the key is whether the patrons are on board or not. If everyone involved wants to play in the manner at hand, then it is fine, but if one child is not speaking up or clearly is uncomfortable, then the teacher steps in and adds a voice to that child, making it clear that it is not alright to just assume someone wants to be very physical at all times.

Anyway, it was great having this gal over, and believe me it was not about sitting around making tea, they had me running in circles with activities and games and chase chase chase. My favorite part was when we all head off to the park, Luke’s friend on his bike, all ready to go, heading out the side yard gate and I am in the rear and what I hear her say to Luke,

“This is my first time on a bike?”