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    #76770 - 05/24/10 10:43 AM Re: Praising the type of effort [Re: Wren]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3290
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: Wren
    And thanks for your perspective Val. But if I only let her do what motivated her, hands would not be washed very often, rooms would be very messy and cheezits her main course.

    She had a ballet recital yesterday and the teacher has this core group called the "company". The kids start in about 4th grade. They get to perform a lot in this last recital with all the young kids. I noticed they were very sloppy dancers, with their arm and feet positions. Last night I asked her: "you said you wanted to try out with the NYC ballet school next year. If you perform with them, you might do a lot of performances of the Nutcracker but have a very small role but you have to do it really well. I notice that Miss Parsla's company gets to perform a lot but this one show. But they are kind of sloppy dancers. Which do you want to do? This big performance, but sloppy, or a little performance and do it really well? She chose the latter. Which I took as a good sign.
    Ren


    Well...I think you misunderstood what I wrote.

    My main point is that you can't force motivation into someone.

    This is only my one opinion here, but to me, pushing a little child to excel or to even bring a term like sloppiness into a conversation with a five-year-old is, well, more reflective of what the parent wants to make the child do rather than what the child wants. Or what is actually good for the child. I'm not trying to be rude here. I'm just trying to show another perspective.

    Children who are forced to perform to adult definitions of what's good and what isn't are less able to develop an inner sense of how to excel. This puts them at risk of burning out early and becoming unhappy teenagers and/or adults to boot.

    I'm just writing from what I've read in your posts. Based on that information, I don't understand why it's important to push a little girl. For example, you said yourself that she isn't passionate about the piano; my response was, "That's fine. What she wants to be passionate about is her decision, not yours." There is absolutely, positively nothing you can do to change this fact.

    Let her find her own passion and when the time is right, she'll have her own motivation to excel.

    Val

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    #76773 - 05/24/10 11:24 AM Re: Praising the type of effort [Re: Val]
    elh0706 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/08/07
    Posts: 353
    Loc: PA
    Wren,
    I hear you and Val! DS is now 11 and we are finally seeing that he has glimmers of understanding the value of effort and output. From very young until just recently, he bounced around alot of activities trying to find one or two that challenged him, enthused him and motivated him to as I put it learn how to learn. He has done karate, oboe, tennis, piano, soccer, drums, art classes and probably some others that I have forgotten. Currently he is taking acting classes and ice skating. These are activities that truly seem to click with him on a level we haven't seen before but it took alot of trial and error to find them.
    The really great thing is even activities he really doesn't like such as homework are getting easier now that he has a perspective to understand the relationship between effort and output.
    It was really hard to take several deep breaths and steps back when his coaches and family could see that he had so much potential in so many of these activities but he just wouldn't put in the effort to realize the potential. None of the time was wasted since he did get a very broad base of knowledge and the balance he learned with karate is a great help in the ice skating. I will admit to many (not as calm as I would have liked) discussions about not working up to his potential, slacking off, and being willing to settle for less than his best. I also have to admit that I don't think a single one of them made a bit of positive difference. It really did take some maturity and the right activities for DS to get the idea across.

    It sounds like your daughter is an amazing child with amazing opportunities in front of her. But, she may still be very young to understand the future value of the effort she puts in today.


    Edited by elh0706 (05/24/10 11:53 AM)
    Edit Reason: spelling and grammer as always

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    #76774 - 05/24/10 11:36 AM Re: Praising the type of effort [Re: elh0706]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3290
    Loc: California
    Elh0706: beautifully said. Thanks.

    Val

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    #76788 - 05/24/10 05:40 PM Re: Praising the type of effort [Re: elh0706]
    blob Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 263
    Originally Posted By: elh0706
    DS is now 11 and we are finally seeing that he has glimmers of understanding the value of effort and output.


    elh706, tks so much for giving me hope. I try to overtly provide the connection for my DS7, but that hasn't happened yet. Was just talking to DH - I shall ban the words "easy" and "smart" from my vocabulary frown. I say to him, "It seems easy for you because of all the hard work you put in, not because you're smart", and all he hears is "It's easy for you ... because you're smart"!! *faint*

    To the OP, I see what you're saying. You're trying to inculcate good habits and high goals at a young age. I'm taking a page from elh706 to say, give it time. There was a time when, especially after I learnt how gifted he was (it's embarrassing to say it now, but it's true) that I became so frustrated with my son for not doing more. This is ironic because he is far ahead in so many areas, but all I could think of was that little bit more. I've come to realize that sitting back, observing, and experiencing the process of growing together is so much more fulfilling than fitting him into some model of a "gifted child". Potentially too, it will provide him with a better sense of himself than if I were to keep shaping him.

    Your daughter does sound very wonderful and you must be so proud of her. All the best to both of you.

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    #76802 - 05/24/10 09:08 PM Re: Praising the type of effort [Re: Wren]
    Mathboy Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 03/29/10
    Posts: 48
    Wren

    I am from china, I can tell, your thought very much like chinese.

    When I was young, I did not have much fun in my childhood, all I have done was studing hard to get in good UNI. Stay awake till 1 or 2 am is pretty normal in high school.

    Nowdays, the situation of children in China even worse
    I don't want my son repeat my life, but also, I would like him to know, he has to work hard to achieve things...

    So, there is balance there...

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    #76809 - 05/25/10 03:32 AM Re: Praising the type of effort [Re: Mathboy]
    S-T Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/28/08
    Posts: 207
    I re-read my post and realised that I didn't really answer the question! :P

    For my kids, I know that they know if they have put in their best effort. Sometimes results don't show because of 3rd party influence. (eg. having a very strict, or demanding teacher/ examiner), or the environment. If I praise them for something which is done just for the sake of completion, they know I am not being truthful.
    So in our family, we celebrate the effort of accomplishment, regardless of the results. This based on my assumption that everyone wants to do well in something that they are good at. For things that they are not good at, the effort of just trying is good enough for me.

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    #76810 - 05/25/10 03:33 AM Re: Praising the type of effort [Re: Val]
    S-T Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/28/08
    Posts: 207
    Originally Posted By: Val
    My main point is that you can't force motivation into someone.


    Agree!


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    #76852 - 05/25/10 04:13 PM Re: Praising the type of effort [Re: S-T]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1579
    Well, it is an interesting discussion. We had a discussion here at dinner.

    I asked her, since her recital is in one week. Does she want to do it really well or sloppy? She said she did not want to be sloppy. I told her that she needed to work on the problem areas, but the pieces sounded really good.

    Baby steps. And yes, Val, I treat the piano thing as her practice at effort because practicing doesn't thrill her. (never want to go the ice skating route, which is something that interests her). I pay for my knees now for that activity.

    I really appreciate the views.

    Best,
    Ren

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