And On the Other End of the Spectrum
Away from the riots for today – I’ve got another niggle on my mind. This niggle is overpraise, and how it hurts my head even more than underpraise.
See, my child is getting into that age range where we need to start thinking about toilet training. It won’t be today, or next week, or even next month, but it’ll be soon enough that thinking about it is warranted. My mother-in-law loves to be well prepared in advance, so she’s already bought potties, the seats you strap onto the toilets, steps… and books. Terrible, awful books that tell me that I am not going to make it through this phase of parenthood, and should off myself now.
Why, you might ask? I’ll tell you why. Saccharine cuteness and overpraise. One of the books she picked up (at the suggestion of *shudders* Chris Evans) plays noises. There is a freaking cheer button that you are supposed to let the kid press every.single.page, and the whole concept sends me into a foaming rage. The batteries have already been removed, and the book has been placed into another room so I don’t throw it out the door and stomp on it. The other, while slightly less annoying, features a child bear learning how to use the toilet and excitedly showing his stuffed rabbit how to do it after he pisses on the floor.
I guess this is the thing – I do not understand the need to celebrate every tiny thing in life and make huge dancing deals out of it. Much like pre-k/kindergarten graduation ceremonies, it just seems a rip of money and an overinflation of the relative importance of the event. Most of us learn to poop in a toilet, most of us make it through kindergarten – whup dee doo. I admit – I’m not a terribly sentimental person, and I am terrible at making meaningful connections with people. I also tend to not be much of a consumer – I buy stuff, obviously, but I don’t see the need to stack my house full of posted pictures and meaningless awards (the closest I have in the wall are Certificate of Participations from Kingdom of Loathing meets, ’cause funny). So the juxtaposition of the two… just doesn’t appeal to me.
Perhaps it’s a guilt thing. A lot more people are working more and seeing their children less, so perhaps it’s a way to exploit guilt at not being a Supermom? It would make sense to me – we tend to overcompensate when we think we’ve messed up. We can’t be everything to everyone even if society insists, insists that we should be… and me, I won’t be. *grins*
Anyways, just some musing. And y’know… hoping I find a route through toilet training when we get to it that isn’t quite so puke-inducingly cutesy.
Have a great weekend!
I get where you are coming from, you know I do. Graduation ceremonies for kids who just started school, a bit much yes. But the whole reward cheering thing is a good thing. You know I had hell training my eldest. My second was far easier, but everything with her is far easier. But having said that, praising a child for doing good is a great thing. I’m not talking a big dance party because they went potty, but a big hug, a sticker or whatever. And I’m talking in general and the reason I say that is because kids want to make Mommy and Daddy proud. I see it with Sam all the time. She will get upset if I don’t tell her she did a good job. She’s excited about going to school, cause I make a big deal about it at the end of the day. She’s getting all O’s (outstanding) and it is a big deal. Not a party big deal but it’s good to encourage them with praise but going overboard I do agree is senseless.
Yay, I am so glad you posted. I hoped you would, knowing that we have differing and firm opinions on the matter. Obviously, there is some degree of overlap – I believe praise is a good thing… when used appropriately. My main issue is, as we’ve discussed, it being overheaped, or used at the wrong point. But then, differing upbringings make for differing opinions, etc. <3