May 19, 2009

job well done

Dungaree Beach, Subic Bay

Two pit stops, six are-we-near-alreadys and three hours later we finally arrived in Subic, home of this year's International Triathlon. The kids were more than happy to adopt it as their playground for the weekend. Pappy and Mac Daddy were all set to make it their battleground.

On Sunday, the Dads were up at the crack of dawn to brave the waves, attack the hills and pound the pavement. The rest of us got up shortly after eager to cheer from the sidelines. Somewhere in between our "GO, DADDY GO" I got to thinking about my other role as head cheerleader to Mak and Tato.

Mak and Tato, our mini cheering squad

I recently stumbled upon Alfie Kohn's article Five Reasons to Stop Saying Good Job. Up until that moment I had never given it a second thought. By saying "Good Job" I believed I was making my children feel good because I genuinely thought they were doing a good job. And I was acknowledging it. Out of curiosity I made a mental note to count how many times I said it that day. I lost count mid-morning. I guess I say it a LOT.

The article says loving, encouraging and supporting our children is good. Praise isn't. The more we praise, the more the child begins to rely on it. Rather than boosting their self-esteem we create an even bigger dependence. So i guess no more "Good job, Mak, for only biting Tato's left ear and not both" (Kidding, of course) I see the wisdom but don't agree with every single point. You can read all about it and make your own judgements here.

In Common Sense Parenting, Ray Burke and Ron Herron talk about using effective praise - specific praises as opposed to the usual "Great" and "Good Job". You point out good behavior and your child understands why. "Did you see how happy Seb was that you shared your blocks?" "I saw how you helped Nicola pack away the toys."

This thing called parenting is getting trickier by the day but these I know for certain:

1. Too much of a good thing isn't always a good thing.

2. Balance, balance, and balance is always key.

3. I will encourage more than praise but will not kick myself if i hear myself saying "Good Job"

1 1/2 kilometers in open water, 40 kilometers of pedaling and 10 kilometers of literally hitting the ground running later, we happily watched them cross the finish line.

mak joins mac daddy in the last stretch!

baby bear takes pappy to the finish! chicha trying to catch up. the mak-tatos cheer!

No need to be stingy here. I will give credit where it is certainly due. Good job, Pappy and Mac Daddy! Thank you for inspiring us to set goals and achieve them. Thank you for showing our little ones that hard work does pay. Thank you for making us all proud... And a bit misty-eyed.

Nona's Pappy and our Mac Daddy after finishing
The Subic International Triathlon 2009.


The Knittymommy said...

Congratulations Mac Daddy and Pappy! Loved seeing the boys run with them on the last stretch.

JavyO said...

Good Job Hot Papas!

Barni Alunan-Escaler said...

Nana-You should have let me use the hairy chest shot! Ha ha ha!

Cely said...

I totally agree. Too much praise isn't always a good thing but I'm sure (and that's really my own opinion) that some praise can act as an inspiration and motivator for our children.

And, in this case, praise is very much due!! Congratulations to them both. What an achievement, I'm really impressed (as always)!

Viva La Vida Mama said...

Thanks knittymommy, javy, barni and cely! GOOD JOB on the commenting. haha!

miguel said...

thanks nana. much appreciated. btw, keep up the good work on the blog

mac d