Thursday, March 23, 2017
Working my way through Barbara Sher's insightful I Could Do
Anything If I Only Knew What It Was, I encountered the following
helpful observation about child-rearing:
[F]ew parents realize that pride in a child's accomplishments can be a tricky issue: it implies ownership. You wouldn't walk up to a famous athlete and say, "I'm proud of you." You know he or she isn't yours to be proud of. (84)Sher correctly notes that "your children ... belong to themselves," and suggests a better way of expressing happiness about their achievements: See the title.
Yes. My son is only three and it is only potty training. (Finally!) But the time to start cultivating this habit is now, now that I am aware of the issue with this very common expression.
P.S. And don't get me started on the trendy, too often meaningless, "Good job," which does avoid the problem noted above. I noticed it was way over-used when my daughter wasn't even two, and decided never to use it myself. Indeed, my daughter surprised me one day by jokingly saying "good job" in a patronizing way. That let me know I was right to avoid that particular knee-jerk phrase.