“Good Job!”, Or Not?

It’s habit, I know. “Good job!”  We love our babies. We get excited when they do new things.

But why “Good job!”? Is it necessary? Is it helpful? I mean, let’s really look this question in the face. We all have different influences. Why do you say “Good job!”?

  • To show love and pride?Clapping hands
  • Grow Baby’s self esteem?
  • Because popular literature says to?
  • To avoid behavior issues?
  • That’s what was said to you?
  • For the satisfaction of Baby looking to you for approval? (hey, honest question!)
  • Were you accepted as a child simply as who you are? Or for what you did (or didn’t)?

Invitation: does “Good job!” really foster what you think it’s fostering? I point you to an article by Jennifer Lehr: “Good Job!”  Please indulge in her words as I try to keep my post shorter! 

Let’s challenge popular thinking and make sure we’re actually saying what we mean to say!

For more reading, see:

Eliza Parker is a certified Infant Developmental Movement Educator®, Body-Mind Centering® Practitioner, Feldenkrais® Practitioner, and Spiritual Counselor. She also uses Aletha Solter’s Aware Parenting.

© Eliza Parker 2012, All Rights Reserved (Links are welcome. If you’d like to share my post in your blog or materials, please ask permission.)

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3 responses to ““Good Job!”, Or Not?

  1. it is necessary to pamper a child and motivate him/her by saying good job as it helps in developing confidence of the kid.

    • Not all praise is hindering, but saying “good job” is a value judgment. The problem with praising something/someone as “good” is that if it’s not “good”, then it’s “bad”, and children often start thinking they need the praise. So motivation becomes extrinsic rather than intrinsic. There are other ways to connect with them about their work through commenting/observing, asking questions, and even comparing to their past performance (wow there’s more detail in this picture than the last one!). Children have confidence naturally, unless they have learned to please others.

  2. Pingback: Baby Steps | soma wellbeing

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