Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Erin Reads "5 Little Ducks"


She's not truly reading, as much as knowing the song and looking at how many ducks there are.  But she nailed it.

Truly, I'm not sure how much she really can read right now.  She knows how to write several words and tries to write others she's unsure of.  Sometimes when we flip through a book she'll recite what is on a random page.  Likely it's memorized, but still it makes me think she can read more than she lets on.

One thing about this person named Erin is if she's not 100% sure she can so something perfectly she sometimes will dig in her heels and not even take a stab. There's a lot of data about how praise can hinder children, as described here, here, and here.  I can absolutely see a difference in Erin over the last year or so since I shifted praise from "good job" and "you're so smart" to "wow, you used a lot of blue in that picture" and "I can see you put in a lot of effort".  But I still worry about her holding back, or even giving up, because she's not perfect at something.

5 comments:

Amber said...

All 3 of our kids struggle with that to some degree, but much more the older 2 than Josie. I don't *think* it's because of an evolved parenting philosophy but that's entirely possible. It's such a natural gut instinct (at least for me) to marvel at how smart the kids are and what a great job they did, but I truly believe they appreciate the more focused & specific, genuine commentary on their "work" than the knee-jerk praise.

Dr. A said...

Amber, I agree, it's not like changing how I show my amazement at Erin will change how she completes tasks... but there are some very compelling experiments suggesting a gentle shift of praise can make kids really perform differently. It is NOT something I will add to my mommy guilt list, that's for sure!

Amber said...

Good call. I remember telling Christie several times about this girl in Josie's class, whom she now knows personally from joining the school. Every single thing this girl does is the most amazing, beautiful, spectacular thing her mother has ever seen. I feel like she's a walking billboard for this shift in thinking because she's really paid the price. With such high expectatiins, she's always striving to one-up herself and is yearning for that kind of intense attention from everyone around her. It's exhausting to watch, and the mom has expressed that she's like to get out of the vicious cycle, but can't figure out how.

Neko said...

We have recently shifted the way we praise as well for the same reason. We're trying to eliminate "good" from our vocabulary and start every sentence with "I like the way you"... or "I noticed how"...It's been difficult to do but well worth the effort.

Matt and Brenda said...

hmm.... something I hadn't thought about yet....thanks for the thoughts.