We have all said our good byes to 2015 and a big welcome to 2016 !! With the new year we all make resolutions, but in spite of our best intentions, we somehow get stuck in our old patterns and have a difficult time leaving them behind. I am challenging myself this year to drop a few of my habits, harmless as they may seem, I know they need to go.
How often do we hear ourselves say, “Good Job”! … it kind of just rolls off our tongue. It sounds encouraging but gives no indication of what the child did to complete the job. Most of the times it turns out to be empty praise and at times might even discourage children from trying new things at which they may fail. We as adults don’t realize that we are acting as judges and we motivate the children to act in a manner to please the adults rather than perusing an activity for their own satisfaction. It now has become a method of control, just like punishment.
Rather than the “Good job” or “Awesome”… the adult can talk about specifics. “I can see you tried real hard to color within the lines”, “ I see you tried writing your name on the picture”. We need to communicate that we appreciate the effort the child has put into the learning. We need to appreciate practice and persistence in our children that is what helps them develop.
Hope 2016 sees more adults encouraging and motivating the young minds around us.
“Eventually we gave up either punishing or rewarding the children.”
— Maria Montessori, The Secret of Childhood.