I am finally finishing the Principles of Happy Parenting. Y stands for "Getting to Yes!". Yes, I can swing by myself! Yes, I can wear big girl underwear! Yes, I can please my parents. It's about upbeat confidence, realistically appraising what you can and can't do, not allowing one setback to deter you, and getting recognition for your competence from those who matter to you.
The last point about recognition is important to me. There is a school of thought that cautions against overpraising our children. Raising an Optimistic Child talks about the "culture of appropriate praise". I will write a separate post about it one of these days. We praise Anna often, maybe sometimes a little too often. But it's not easy to "get her to Yes". She has very conservative estimates of what she can do and doesn't want to jump out of the comfort zone. I appreciate it in the situations involving physical danger, but I would like her to learn how to try new things without worrying that she won't do them perfectly. Even getting her to spend some time at drawing is not easy - apparently she cannot do it well enough to her own satisfaction and gets easily frustrated.
How do you encourage your children to push their boundaries?