Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Those Little Hands

This afternoon O and I were sitting in bed and I began reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to him and he went crazy with excitement...he even reached out and touched the page. He has just realized that his hands belong to him!

We had a good day today...I knitted quite a bit...I think I will finish the longies this week and he can wear them to dad's birthday party this weekend...

Here is a photo of the last pair I knit a couple of weeks ago:


I ordered a bunch of yarn and it arrived today...along with clothes I bought from Gymboree...I looked out my kitchen window and saw the boxes open and shredded on the driveway...our German shepherd, Enzo, went to town on them...



At least he had fun! Today was his lucky day as nothing was ruined! Just for that, I'm going to knit something and make him wear it!

Joe has come across Alfie Kohn (I think was his name)...who has written quite extensively about child development/education. The essay that Joe read to me talked about the effect of praising your child too much...specifically the "GOOD JOB" or "GOOD BOY/GIRL" as this can create a child that is too dependent on pleasing others to feel good about him/herself. Interesting. Who would have thought that praising can be damaging. This parenting thing is HARD. You can fuck up at any minute...I'm sure I have already...

The funny thing is that I am finding it REALLY difficult to NOT say "good boy or good job"...it's incredible how automatic it is....of course having two dogs that get the "good boy" after every command (when obeyed...which is 50/50) makes it even more challenging. I've been trying to program myself to say "You did it!" instead. "You did it Amalia, you did it!"

2 comments:

gib said...

Amalia and Joe - Jen and I are pretty familiar with Alfie Kohn's work and accept the idea that raising a "praise junkie" is not such a good idea. That said, I don't think it's written for such little guyzos. My instinct is that at this age, you praise and coo and get in the little guyzos faces and lay it on. Then, as they actually start doing stuff like climbing cabinets and painting walls and weeding lettuce starts you shift to statements like "i'm curious about choosing red paint there" and "could you feel the roots hold their soil as you pulled it out" rather than praise. Step aside, Alfie. Gib

Susan said...

Actually, I believe that Alfie does not speak against too much praise. He speaks against praise *altogether*. All praise is a form of verbal rewards which decrease intrinsic motivation, in his opinion.