Unconditional Parenting Discussion Thread (5/1-8/31)
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July 9th, 2012, 04:57 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Portland, OR
Originally Posted by
Lol. It makes for sense to me I guess because I was raised with a lot of "self esteem boosting" and it backfired. So to me, saying "good job" all the time is patronizing and distracting. Saying it only when you really want it to count, is coercive and manipulative. It is more honest to say "thanks for helping mommy" or "that's the first time you've been able to do X by yourself!" Or whatever.
But the most important thing IMO is non coercion, not controlling their behavior more than absolutely necessary. I think the more you can trust them and be unconditional in your love/affection/approval, the better.
I have been experimenting with this, just keeping a neutral happy tone with M and smiling at her even when I am correcting her (like stopping her from biting me or grabbing a stranger's purse) and it works just as well as when I used to take a disapproving tone. But I think it upsets her less and she moves on quicker. I have really taken this non coercive thing to heart. We will see how it goes - deciding to not praise/reward or show judgment/ disapproval to a small toddler seems pretty crazy!!!
For me it's turning into mainly just checking in emotionally and being reassuring and loving towards her even when I'm forcing her to do something (like changing a poopy diaper or preventing her from pulling hair). And picking my battles. Does that help explain it??? This is what I got out of the book anyway.
Hmmm, ok. I pretty much did all that stuff anyway. When I tell Juliana not to do something, I always say it in a cheerful and respectful tone, not the "you are a POS" tone I always got from my parents when I displeased them. The only thing I was guilty of is too much "good job," but now the book says that reducing empty praise is not the point, so I'm struggling to figure out what I'm supposed to change. I am trying to make my praise more meaningful and simply acknowledge and not praise when something isn't really praise-worthy.
Mariah, AP Mommy to Juliana
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