Is the phrase good job actually harming your child?
Well...maybe. In my college child development class and in other parenting literature this seemingly innocent phrase has been exposed for what it can do to our kids. According to parenting expert Alfie Kohn it can make them "praise junkies." They can become too dependent on our approval of everything that they do, that it stifles their own opinion of what they like and don't like. It can make them shy away from taking risks and trying new things for fear of not doing a "good job." They can become less secure in themselves rather than more secure. It has happened with my own son and I have tried really hard to reverse the "damage" I have done. You can read more about this topic from Kohn by clicking here.
Instead of not praising my child at all, which is damaging as well, there are smarter ways to praise.
Ones that I have been working on saying are:
"Wow! You did it!"
"Thank you for doing that for me. That was so helpful."
"Look at all the colors you used to make your picture."
"You stayed in the lines really well."
Even still I wonder if my praise is the kind that is going to help my son become a confident, steady individual who is able to endure mistakes well when he tries new things.
What do you do and say to praise your child?
How do you remedy the "good job" syndrome with your kids?
Are you a recovering "good job" abuser like me? If yes....what did you do to change your habits?
Thank you for your input!