With all these researchers telling us that too much positive reinforcement can be detrimental to our children, I'm wondering what is okay to tell them.
Violence is bad.
Sex is worse.
And damned if you tell them "good job" too many times because they'll become narcissistic beasts that only feed on the praise of others.
I grew up in a household where nothing was good enough and I would have taken any little morsel of praise I could get.
And so, I spent more than half of my life trying to earn kind words from others.
I tend to think that's more detrimental than telling our kids "good job" 14 times a day.
I foster independence in my daughter. If she makes a mess, she cleans it up herself or she helps me. She sets the table, puts away the silverware, and does what a three-year-old's fair share might look like around the house.
But she does use kid-sized plates and cups. She sits on a booster seat instead of on a low chair. And I cut her food.
She's a three-year-old and I try to treat her as such. And in my humble opinion, that means she needs a smaller fork, a potty seat, and lots of compliments.
If she doesn't do a good job, I find something she did do well. And if she doesn't win, I tell her "good game." But when it's so easy to pick out all the small little things our kids do that aren't so great, I think finding their positive points can help (not damage) their self-esteem.
So if I'm accused of coddling her because I tell her does something well more than a few times a day, even if it's getting a whole spoonful of food in her mouth without it going all over her, then fine. I'll be a coddler.
And a proud one at that.
Plus, I tend to think that it's not well meaning, attentive, and loving parents who are raising maladjusted narcissistic adults.