The Power of Praise
I just finished reading a fantastic article through the Fishful Thinking website. How Not to Talk to Your Kid. The inverse power of praise. The article has some similarities between myself and my son and the boy and father in the article.
My son is gifted and accelerated and I think he is aware of it. I am not sure though. I don't tell him he is accelerated or gifted. I use the word enrichment for his gifted and accelerated classes. If he happens to make a comment to me about a classmate that has yet to read a book (while he just finished his 210th, his GOAL is 220 books), I quietly remind him that everyone progresses differently. When my son came home with a pocket full of quarters and I asked him where he got them and he replied that a classmate paid him to tell her how to spell her spelling words . . . I did not let him keep the quarters. I also told him to not do that again (accept money for the correct answers or provide the correct answers).
I learned a while ago how to praise my son correctly. I had a bit of help you see. From his wonderful therapists. My son has Sensory Integetion Disorder. At age two he started intense therapies and throughout this he was RESILIANT and OPTIMISTIC. And I learned from these amazing therapists how to speak to my son to get the best out of him. I also read some amazing books that helped to guide me as well.
The Sensory -Sensitive Child by Karen Smith & Karen Gouze has very worn pages in my house.
Setting Limits with your Strong-Willed Child by Robert MacKenzie is another much read book in my house.
I am a marshmallow with my children, I really am. I think I am this way for a couple of reasons. One being that I had very rigid parents who never, ever wavered once with a smile or a pat on the head or even a thumbs up. Secondly, my son, my beautiful baby boy who had so many compounded issues when he was a baby and toddler. My son who struggled for so long to even speak one single word.
I learned how to speak to my son and eventually my daughters who are completely different than my son. I learned how to praise my children in the best manner. I learned how to praise my children for the best growth for their hearts and inquisitive minds. I do not withhold praise. I just give clear messages that my children understand and respect.
They are EMOTIONALLY AWARE.
Do I make mistakes. Of course. I work for improvement but never perfection.
I am EMPOWERED and HOPEFUL.
I am after all, One Big Marshmallow of a Momma.