This is another yellow car post, on a parenting theme.
This morning I came across this nice post about alternatives to ‘good job’-ing your kids over at Picklebums.
I know from personal experience that it is really hard to change an ingrained habit without having some idea of what your new habit should look like. In this case it sounds all very good to reduce or remove value judgements when you encourage your kids, but if that’s all you’ve ever known, it can be daunting to figure out what you should be saying instead.
Posts and printables, like the Picklebum’s one, and great suggestions from books like How to Talk So Kids will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, go a very long way to giving you some ideas that you can put into immediate effect. They offer practical ways to make changes, not just explaining the whys of changing.
At first the new phrases may feel a bit awkward and false, but over time these alternatives begin to feel normal and ‘good job’ starts to feel like the foreign language. Even if you are a few steps further along the track to saying goodbye to ‘good job’, sometimes visual reminders are a great helpmate.
Personally I will be printing it out and putting it up somewhere I can see it every day.