Sunday, June 14, 2009

Watch me!

A few weeks ago, friends with children were over. In the course of the evening, we saw several little shows. The fashion shows and plays were not bad, really -- mercifully short, mostly parading the results of dress-up, complete with big-girl announcer, "And now presenting...Ballerina Cheerleader!" (These children are delightful children, and this whole post should absolutely NOT be construed as casting any aspersions on them or on Earthgirl.)

The adult conversation turned to an article I read in "Wonder Time" magazine a long while ago that I found helpful. The phrase, "short and well-rehearsed " can be helpful to the harried adult who too often has heard, "Watch me!, wait...I did it, wait...I'm going to do it good this, wait...I think I need to do it this, wait..." and, worse, the group effort: "Watch, wait, you're doing it, YOU are!, wait, you're supposed to be the, wait, we can jump higher... no, wait..."

I think the author is right on that our clapping and wildly (gamely?) praising every little effort is not building self-esteem and talent, but doing them a disservice. Maybe we are teaching them that working to perfect a performance is not important, but that any little effort should receive reward. Maybe instead we should instruct them and even help them to plan and practice. Maybe we should speak a little truth in love.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I clicked on that link; what a great article, very well said. PB

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