Over Praising

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Is it ever possible to ‘over praise’ a child?

My short answer is, oh yeah.

The longer answer is thus:

We’re not raising boys or girls. We’re raising young men and young ladies. Now, I realise that this sounds very much ‘Little House On The Prairie’ – (reading this book at the mo actually, very good) – but let me explain my point. You don’t want to continually tell your child, or the child you care for, how amazingly brilliant they are for doing the right thing. They should be doing it anyway! That’s why it’s called ‘the right thing’; it’s something expected from all of us because doing anything else would be the wrong thing. If this sounds a little harsh, forgive me.

Don’t get me wrong; I completely believe kids should be praised for good behaviour. But if you make them feel like the little Prince or Princess of the world every time they eat all their greens or don’t hit a sibling, the pride they feel is going to wear off. It’s my experience that you’ll actually start getting the opposite effect, they’ll start getting sick of your high-pitched praises and constant kudos. ‘Well, of course’, they think to themselves. ‘I’m awesome. We all know I’m awesome. You’ve said it a thousand times.’

Yes. It is possible for our little treasures to get an inflated sense of their own self worth.

And, take it from me, there is nothing worse than a three year old diva.

Eventually, Junior will think it’s hilarious whenever you don’t tell them how excellent they’ve been.

We’ve all seen that wicked glint in a toddler’s eye when they are inches away from touching something they’ve been told not to. It’s an out and out dare, isn’t it?

‘Come on,’ they seem to be saying, as their chubby fingers reach for one more biscuit, or their toes dip into that particularly muddy puddle. ‘Bring it on, I know you don’t have the guts to tell me off. You can’t have forgotten I’m Perfect.’

Kids are only human, just like adults. Imagine if your boss simpered and grinned like a Court Jester every time you filed something correctly or had a report handed in on time. It would actually be a little embarrassing. What we want is for our employers to notice our stand-out performances, so when we meet an irksome challenge and overcome it, the Christmas bonus at the end of the year is just that little bit more special.

So, the long-winded point I’m trying to make is this: Save the big praising, so when your child or the child you care for has done something especially brilliant, they will know it.

About me.

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About me.

January 23, 2012

I’m a professional Nanny with eight years experience. Much of this time has been spent working with babies; from teeny, tiny little newborns to rambunctious, exciting toddlers.

I started off my career as a professional childcare worker in childcare centres and loved the experience of working with big bunches of rowdy kids!

However, I soon realised that nothing can quite beat the comfort and security of home for the small babies, whose routines are often quite muddled up when trying to sleep in a room full of different babies of different ages, all with different needs!

So, after two years of centre work, I undertook a course at the Suzanne Johnstone Training Centre, specialising in Nannying. I found this course to be absolutely brilliant and completely worthwhile.

Having fun with the course meant that I also worked hard, and am proud to say I came Dux of the class.

I can not picture a time when I won’t be working with children. I’m happy to say that I have chosen this as a career! It’s not always an easy one; small people can often come with their own set of interesting challenges, but I find a little patience goes a long way and, at the end of the day, I believe the kids I work with have as much to offer me as I have to offer them!

When A Toddler Discovers the Power of a Tantrum – In the Home.

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It’s funny, but when I think of the word ‘tantrum’, I can’t help but associate it with words like ‘cyclone’, ‘whirlwind’, and ‘tsunami’ … somehow, a tantrum just seems to fit into the ‘natural disaster’ category.

And it can be even more daunting when your toddler has just started to realise they can say ‘no‘.

Again and again.

Louder and louder.

And then the tears start. And they’re not necessarily angry tears, either. Sometimes they are tears of real sadness and hurt.

But why should that small box of sultanas matter so much? Why is it so very important that they are picked up, right then and there, at that very moment? Why are they crying so loudly?

Because they’ve just discovered they can.

So what’s the best way of dealing with one of these tantrums, particularly when the little person in question is too young to understand logic, or to see to reason?

Well, my best advice is to try and not to reason with them. This doesn’t mean of course, that the grown-up person should say, ‘well babe, it’s my way or the highway, suck it up!’

A toddler is always going to feed on your emotions. If you appear angry, they’ll get angrier. If you appear desperate to please them, they’ll cry all the louder.

Two magical words: Distraction Method.

And this doesn’t necessarily mean that you try to entertain them out of their blues either, by offering them a toy or a tasty treat. Simply walk away, explaining why, calmly and coolly.

For example:

‘No, sorry Bobby, we’ve had morning tea, we’re not opening a packet of crackers now. I need to hang out the washing. Are you going to come with me?’

Or:

‘Sally, you don’t need daddy’s razor, you don’t shave. We’re putting it back on the bench and then going to do a puzzle now, or read a book. Off we go.’

Then walk away. The toddler isn’t in trouble for having their tantrum. They haven’t been growled at, they haven’t even really been ignored.

It’s simply been illustrated to them that a tantrum will get them nowhere, that it’s not worth having a tantrum in the first place, and that dad or mum have better things to do than to get upset or desperate themselves.

And when they do suddenly realise that bawling up their little fists and screaming like a banshee ain’t getting them anywhere, when they do come to find you, and if they have settled down … don’t forget to give them a little cuddle and tell them they’ve made a good choice.

After all, why sweat the small stuff?

I’ve found that they won’t, if you won’t.

Nanny out.

About me.

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I’m a professional Nanny with eight years experience. Much of this time has been spent working with babies; from teeny, tiny little newborns to rambunctious, exciting toddlers.

I started off my career as a professional childcare worker in childcare centres and loved the experience of working with big bunches of rowdy kids!

However, I soon realised that nothing can quite beat the comfort and security of home for the small babies, whose routines are often quite muddled up when trying to sleep in a room full of different babies of different ages, all with different needs!

So, after two years of centre work, I undertook a course at the Suzanne Johnstone Training Centre, specialising in Nannying. I found this course to be absolutely brilliant and completely worthwhile.

Having fun with the course meant that I also worked hard, and am proud to say I came Dux of the class.

I can not picture a time when I won’t be working with children. I’m happy to say that I have chosen this as a career! It’s not always an easy one; small people can often come with their own set of interesting challenges, but I find a little patience goes a long way and, at the end of the day, I believe the kids I work with have as much to offer me as I have to offer them!