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Wow! I'm pretty amazed about this!

  1. #9
    monte is offline Registered User
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    I agree, aussiegal, about the labeling thing. This is taking the conversation in a bit of a different direction, but I've been reading lately about the different kinds of praise, and the difference between evaluative praise (you are smart, you are strong, etc.) and descriptive praise (that was a smart point, that was a heavy load--thanks for carrying it, etc.) The evaluative praise really can create pressure for the recipient, that they have to live up to something. My husband, who is a teacher, has found that using descriptive praise in the classroom seems to encourage more internal validation, rather than always looking externally. Not that we would never tell our kids they are strong or smart or whatever, but just something to be mindful of.

  2. #10
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    VERY interesting Monte. I'd never really thought about the kind of praise that i use. now that i am thinkig about it, i realise that at playgroup, i use a lot of the descriptive praise, but at home it's a mixture of the two.

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    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by geomum View Post
    Its great to hear about your son doing exceptionally well. Some of the stuff does sound amazing but my only concern here is that if some mom who has a slow child might be reading this right now and feeling extremely pressured to teach her child even the basic things. Maybe? Maybe?? I am not saying that was your intention by any means, but just a thought crossed my mind :)
    Oh, definitely not my aim. See, we've really struggled with trying to keep up with my son--because he just wears us out and for a long time it was quite frustrating. But after watching that video, I had an idea I hadn't even really thought of--that maybe he's just ahead for his age so it's actually a good thing (although it can be really hard because he just does everything very fast so you never get a break). Anyway, no offense meant. Sorry for anyone who was offended.

  4. #12
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by monte View Post
    I honestly think that it's amazing to watch every baby's development, whether "early", "late" or textbook-perfect. I love watching my baby learn to do new things--he takes such delight in each new skill, how could I not find it amazing?? For the record, he's been mostly "slow" according to the books, but has learned to do a few things earlier than average--which pretty much proves to me that each baby's timeline is just different. Anyway, I truly am glad for you, thanka2, that you think your baby is amazing--it sounds like he is! I hope all the mums on here feel the same way--I know I do!
    This is true, and the video really points to that too. Like the woman says, "Your baby is special because you love them." Even before I watched the video I always thought it was amazing to watch my son grown and develop, just as you pointed out.
    And with babies, as the video points out, it is way too soon to be able to know if they are truly ahead--you can only look for little signs.

    And just as it's important to know if your older child is having true difficulty in an area (not just a slower development but maybe something more), after watching that video, I started to think that maybe it's also important to know if your child is truly excelling in an area (not just how every mom subjectively believes their baby/child is brilliant--but a true accelerated pace of learning and ability which can be scientifically screened for--and again, the video points out that that type of screening comes later when the child is older).

    Because it may be just as important to be aware of where your child is at developmentally so that you can really nurture and help that part of them grow or assist a part that is weaker to help them really reach their full potential.

    These are just my initial thoughts--as I had never even thought about any of this before.

    So, to me, the video provided some comfort and explanation--just things as a mom, I think I knew all along.

  5. #13
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by monte View Post
    I agree, aussiegal, about the labeling thing. This is taking the conversation in a bit of a different direction, but I've been reading lately about the different kinds of praise, and the difference between evaluative praise (you are smart, you are strong, etc.) and descriptive praise (that was a smart point, that was a heavy load--thanks for carrying it, etc.) The evaluative praise really can create pressure for the recipient, that they have to live up to something. My husband, who is a teacher, has found that using descriptive praise in the classroom seems to encourage more internal validation, rather than always looking externally. Not that we would never tell our kids they are strong or smart or whatever, but just something to be mindful of.
    I've read a lot about descriptive versus evaluative praise and when it comes to my son we make a conscience effort to use on the former and not the latter. I do agree, that children should be valued for who they are first and what they can do should be recognized with precise descriptive statements, rather than blanket labels. I think this concept is really, really important.

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    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussiegal View Post
    Monte, good post. I too think each baby is amazing.

    I worry about people that want to attach labels to their children at such early ages. How does it affect the child? Will they only be loved and get attention if they continue to perform 'above' the norm? What about their siblings who aren't 'gifted'. How would they feel to know their parents consider one of them gifted and not the other. (that one is being written about but not the other) Also, what about all the other gifts that are important in life, being kind, having empathy, even sporting ability, are they encouraged as much as the ability to count to 20 (or whatever).

    I'm not saying any of you are like that but I've always had an interest in psychology and indeed studied it for a few years at uni and think that labels actually limit people. "Oh yeah, I'm the smart one" can often limit someone on the sporting field. Or the opposite, "I'm the sporty one", can limit them scholastically as they simply are not expected to be able to kick a ball and speak a foreign language or understand algebra.

    It's an interesting discussion to be had and just something to be aware of as your children grow up. I love how different each of my children are. The most important thing for me is that they do not feel pressure when they are growing up, (to be something I want them to be), but rather that they follow their own dreams and ultimately, that they forge a career in something that makes them happy. That to me would be the sign that I have done my job as a parent.
    I agree with what you're saying about labels. Unfortunately, we have to use labels in life to describe things. If your child is autistic you actually have to use the name "autism" to describe where the child is at. It would be really great if we all could commonly understand each other without labels. If you're a teacher, you use the title "teacher." If you're a doctor there is a "Dr." before your name and an "MD" at the end.

    I think my primary interest is recognition, not labeling. Recognition helps parents tailor their plan of parenting. Some parents prefer to just parent day-to-day but we prefer to have different plans and goals. If we can recognize certain things then we can better tailor or individual plan to meet our child's needs.

    In our case, we are a single-child family and will remain that way. We have no intention to have other children so the issue of comparison between siblings doesn't apply. But, in families with more than one children, or any family, I think the main job of the parent is to recognize their children for who they really are. Which means taking a humble (truthful and accurate, whether good or bad--a right assessment) of the child. Is the child struggling in an area? Is the child excelling in an area? What is the child's natural bent? How can we nuture and support the child in the best way--in word and deed? This our personal philosophy when it comes to parenting. Although the official "label" might say "my child is gifted" (based on tests etc.) I would much rather prefer to not make this even a known subject with my child. But, I could then research and know what opportunities would be best suited to my child's individual needs.

    When I was growing up with two other siblings, both younger, there was never a comparison between any of us and we were never pressured to be something our parents wanted us to be. Our parents were proud of us not matter how we performed in sports or school and I think we all avoided be labeled. None of us ever fit into a specific "clique" in school but could always be friends with anyone and in this aspect, I think our parents did a great job. They never let themselves or us be defined by a label and as you pointed out, for this reason we were never limited by anything but our own imagination. So, your goal as a parent is to essentially do what my parents did--we were told to pursue what made us happy and to never be afraid of anything and today none of us are.

  7. #15
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    Thanka2, there's a big difference between labelling a child 'gifted' and recognising someone's profession - teacher in the case you give or medical condition (or what have you, in the case of austism). But i do agree with the rest of your post.

    I really believe that most of us live up to the labels our parents attach to us and when we are older, to the labels we attach ourselves. Call it a self-fulfilling prophesy if you want. If someone tells you often enough that you are lazy or stupid you will believe it and become it.

    And nowadays there is a lot of talk (as someone else mentioned) about how to heap praise on a child. The outcome of doing it the wrong way (i.e. saying, you are amazing, you are strong, you are smart) is that we raise children who think they are better than everyone else and therefore find it hard to get ahead professionally (not to mention socially) because they are not prepared to start at the bottom and work their way up. It's a balancing act.

  8. #16
    aussie mum is offline Registered User
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    The book Siblings without Rilvalry discusses some of the consequences of labelling our children (or assigning 'roles'). Its attributed as being the primary reason for rivalry amongst siblings. (its not a terribly well written book but worth a read.....this thread has prompted me to read it again!)

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