Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Good Job

Helping Dad make a dutch baby.

Enjoying the Popcorn Parade commentated by Uncle A.
So, among the other things I've been reading, I ran across this reference to how you shouldn't tell your kids, "good job!" I Googled it and there were quite a few hits. The one that I ended up reading was this blog by a woman named Jennifer Lehr. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to know her from somewhere, but she has some very definite opinions on things. Apparently, she's heavily influenced by Magda Gerber's RIE approach. The RIE approach has an interesting history and is basically about respecting children and not manipulating them or forcing them to do things before they're ready. For example, don't try to stimulate them to crawl or walk before they're ready, just let them work things out on their own. Don't hover over them saying, "be careful" every time they do something new or potentially dangerous (walking, stairs, etc). And, don't tell your child, "Good job". Taken out of context some of these "rules" sound a little over the top, but once the reasons are explained, they make pretty good sense. And, in my opinion, it seems like you have to pay a little more attention to what the child(ren) are doing and your reactions, which probably isn't a bad thing in most cases.

I find myself naturally doing some of the recommended things, like praising specific accomplishments. I found that I quickly got tired of saying, "good job" and felt "yay" and "hooray" were a bit excessive for repetitive things that I hope to make commonplace. So now I say in a moderately excited voice, "Hey, you went pee-pee in the potty!" Or, "Way to put that piece of chicken in your mouth!" We were trying to get Ellie to say, "Bye-bye", but now I've backed off so that I just model it. I don't tell her to say it, I just say it myself. And, half the time, she says it back. I've also been narrating what I'm doing, which I mostly started as a way to talk more around her to model speaking. Otherwise, we'd have some pretty quiet days at home.

This weekend our friends from Indy came up for the Popcorn Fest. P ran in the 5 mile Popcorn Panic (finishing at about 43 minutes) and Ellie and I went with him for support. I also got a sneak peek at some of the booths. If I was really thinking, I would have made some purchases then because later in the day, it was ridiculous. I ended up waiting forEVER to get two small slices of pizza from the Stonebaker food truck. I'd read an article about them ages ago, but this was the first opportunity I'd had to try it. The two girls working it were going full stop, but they could only go as fast as the pizza can cook, so I think I was standing in line first to order and then to get my food for probably 45 minutes. The pizza was tasty, but not that tasty and certainly not that filling. On the upside, Ellie really enjoyed the parade and didn't suffer too badly on the nap-front despite the long day.

I keep trying to motivate myself to take her to the YMCA to swim once or twice a week. Heck, I'd like to take myself. I need to get in some extra cardio and the elliptical is not real inspiring to me. But, the schedule for free swim is kind of erratic (as are her naps). So, we've gone for a couple of walks this week. The temperatures have really gotten pretty nice for a late afternoon/early evening walk. And, the dogs love it too. Yesterday, we went before her dinner and Dad expressed disappointment at missing it. So, today, we went after he got home and it was pretty nice. Hopefully, we can keep it up on a relatively regular basis.

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