Saturday, June 6, 2009

May31_WritingI 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?

2 comments:

Kristiana said...

Isn't it interesting how we each have such little individuals. It amazes me sometimes just how individual little ones are, like for some reason they don't have a personality until they are older???
Anyway, this is what I love about these kinds of books. They enable you to think about something very specific to encourage the best of your child.
Zorro is actually quite the opposite of Anna. He tends to jump in without much hesitation. I have to be on guard all the time. He spends little time thinking about the consequences and often gets hurt. Oddly he is not bothered by it. When he does become cautious I tend to REALLY examine a situation. He catches me by surprise sometimes. Because of these things I tend NOT to push him out of his comfort zone unless I feel like he really needs it.
In such a situation, I spend time comforting him and encouraging him and telling what it's about.

Lona said...

My daughter has been cautious in this way, especially when she was in your daughter's age range. I'm not sure why. Perhaps because they are becoming able to do things, that they want to experience that success with everything. I've found that my daughter, at almost 6 years old, is now more willing to try things, especially things she loves, such as new gymnastics tricks. When she draws, and things don't come out as she'd like, sometimes she starts over, and sometimes she'll take the suggestion to make it work somehow. Wonder if they have to come to realize that trying again is how we all learn?