I really can’t stand it when people say “good girl” to my child.
Because they are just empty words. Space fillers. And how can one do a “good” job at swinging on the swing or building a tower with blocks anyway? Doesn’t that sound ridiculous?
When you praise my child in this way I know your intent isn’t harmful but you’re actually taking away some of her joy.
Because praise comes from a place of control and that isn’t something that benefits genuine interactions. You’re not taking an actual interest in what she’s doing and you aren’t boosting her self-esteem. Real interest and interaction boosts children. Saying “good job/good girl” doesn’t.
So what can you say instead?
How about: “You did it!”
“What was your favourite part?”
“That was tricky, and you stuck with it!”
“How do you feel?”
As a guide; if it would sound ridiculous to praise an adult for doing a task you’re about to praise a child for; offer them the same level of respect and just thank them, don’t praise them.
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