“Good” Behavior


So, this week I was reflecting on an experience I had towards the end of my pregnancy (once upon a time…was it really only 5 months ago???).  I was in Target getting a few remaining items in the baby aisle when I overhead a mother speaking to her infant (couldn’t have been older than one-year) in the shopping cart. She was saying “Oh, you’re being so patient! Thank you for being so patient in the store with mommy…” etc.

I thought it was genius that she used the word “patient” when I probably would have said “good”, e.g. “You’re being so good, Little C!”.  But the more I thought about it, using the general term “good” definitely is not the ideal adjective to use in these scenarios with children for a couple of different reasons, one being that the opposite of “good” is inherently “bad” and we don’t want to give our kids the implication that if they aren’t being good then they are being “bad”. Does that make sense?

Using a more accurate word, such as “patient” or “happy”, also increases our kids’ vocabulary and I think that when they truly understand the meaning of these words, they will identify better with how they should behave in a store, or in the home or any other setting. They should be patient, they should be happy rather than cranky or attention-demanding. Of course, these are all developmental milestone for children and I’m sure it takes practice to develop proper behavioral skills.  
So, to make a long drawn-out thought more concise, the value of this experience is for me to try to be specific when I give praise to Little C on being “good” in the fill-in-the-blank location. 
Daniel and I have already employed this method of praise and find it refreshing to mix up the adjectives from the typical “good” behavior we all want our kids to exhibit. 

*No snippets today*

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