Descriptive Praise Fail

I’ve not had much time for blogging with finishing off a work project but I had to write this down before I forgot. To be fair, I haven’t had a chance to read Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting either and I’m certainly not using descriptive praise consistently so of course things like this will happen…

We’d just spent a nice morning in the park, along with a picnic lunch and were walking home. We live on a close off a crescent and I will let the girls walk round the crescent home while I cross the roads and go the ‘quicker’ way as there are no roads to cross on their route, we know several people in the houses they go past and it gives them a bit of independence.

As I met up with MG coming round the other direction, she told me that DG had dropped her sunhat and wouldn’t go back for it. So I walked round to find it but MG raced ahead, picked it up and brought it back. DG was slowly making her way home still, in sight of us. I didn’t ask DG to get the hat because, well, she’s being a threenager.

I thought this was a perfect time to try descriptive praise.

Me: You went back and picked up DG’s hat.

I smile brightly.

MG: What does that mean?

Me: It means you went back and picked up DG’s hat.

I smile brightly again.

MG: And what does that mean?

Me: It means you went back and picked up DG’s hat.

I’m still trying to look happy and calm…

MG: What do I get for that?

Me: A smile from me?

MG: I’ve got an idea, every time I do something good I should get a present.

Me: Um, no, it doesn’t work like that… Doing good things makes us happy and it’s nice to help each other and work together as a family.

I’m still trying to smile in a pleasing and happy manner, although I’ve started talking too much.

MG throws her scooter down and stomps off ahead of me…

What have I produced?! It made me laugh anyhow, and wonder whether any ‘parenting strategies’ have any hope of working on my stroppy young ladies 😆

5 responses to “Descriptive Praise Fail

  1. Ha ha ha that is absolutely hilarious. “what does that mean” like why aren’t you telling me how well I’ve done. Chucking to myself still. I also live your term threenager. Totally using that one

    • childledchaos

      Thank-you! I know, total parenting fail there 😆 I’m still giggling about it three days on!

      Not sure who told me the term threenager, but it really is so apt.

  2. Lol, I’m not sure if there is a right or wrong way of dealing with a , I’ve certainly tried most these past few months and it depends on how tired or moody they are to what works 😉 let me know if you do find something though!

    • childledchaos

      I left the threenager to it, it wasn’t worth the argument 😆 MG is coming up 5.5 and too clever for her own good (well, I like to think that of course!) Thank-you 🙂

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