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And another thing…

Sunday, 30 December 2007

When Poppyseed pranced into our room this morning at some unGodly hour, I complimented her on the very cute outfit she was wearing. Curious as to who assembled it, she volunteered that she was responsible.

A little while later, I commented to PC that I loved the ensemble Poppyseed had pulled together. “Poppyseed didn’t do that,” he corrected, “I did.”. At which point Poppyseed burst into tears.

“I just wanted you to be proud of me,” she sobbed.

Back to this pride thing again. Has my generation made a terrible mistake by praising our children left-and-right rather than reserving it for the rare occasions when our hearts really do swell with pride? How many bios have we read stating that so-and-so is the “proud parent of a 10 month old daughter?” Honest-to-God, is crawling that impressive of a skill?? How many parent speeches have we heard proclaiming the Bar or Bat Mitzvah so kind, so compassionate, so dedicated that the urge to set the child (yes, we ARE talking about a child as Jewish Law holds one ritually responsible and not an actual grown-up at 13!!) on the road towards beatification is overwhelming??

So no wonder little Poppyseed felt compelled to fib in order to elicit praise. A sad reality.

“Mommy is proud when you make good choices. Lying is not a good choice, Poppyseed. The outfit isn’t what’s important. Telling the truth is. Do you understand the difference, sweetheart?”

“Mm-hmm,” she nodded.

In the rush to fortify their self-esteem, we must be certain to praise that which is truly praise-worthy lest we rear self-important, overindulged children.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Monday, 31 December 2007 3:20 pm

    Praise is overrated. There is a difference between encouragement and praise. We can encourage our children positively without turning them into praise-junkies.

    Ok, off the soapbox now 🙂

    Happy New Year to the whole FS family (except the lice. i hope they do NOT have any new year)

  2. Frume Sarah permalink
    Monday, 31 December 2007 3:23 pm

    Thanks EK — right back attch’ya!

    Sadly, Poppyseed complained yesterday that the only snuggles she is getting is from the lice.


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