Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Good? Oh no, don't call her good!

I will be the first to confess that it happened to me too. I did it. Eons ago. When I went to a stage performance with a couple of mummy friends and as I was about to head for the car, my friend said "bye bye pretty girl!"

My reply "ai yoh, she's naughty." The moment it popped out of my mouth, I gave myself a mental slap (which must be a pretty hard one since I am quite sure I have never repeated the same thing) and I remember thinking "what on earth was that and where did it come from?"

It is very much an Asian thing. Parents who are "humble" in brushing off any positive comments about their kids and are almost embarassed to receive any praises.

This was evident when I was in the lift on a Sunday evening with my neighbour (a K2 girl) whose grandma was sending her home. The grandma saw Dumpling and went "oh such a pretty girl and speaks well too". Dumpling looked up and replied with a "Thank you" and it was then that I saw the a yearning expression on her grand daughter. I told the grandma "J is doing very well too! She has grown up so much and is such a confident child."

The young child's chest puffed up with pride only to be deflated in the next second when the grandma said "no lah, J is very naughty, very stubborn too".

Truly, this is an Asian thing. It is almost as if we feel that if a child has been praised too much, they might explode and then we end up downplaying the praises by saying something which is not intended to be malicious of course, but hurtful nonetheless to the child. 

So the next time, when someone comes along and praise your child, accept it with grace. Better yet, teach your child to accept it graciously and help her build up positive self esteem. 

(saw this picture from this blogsite)

Here's an exerpt from postive parents.org. For the full article (all 7 tips) click here.

1. Be positive – Your general outlook on life affects your child a lot more than you think. This means that your positive outlook will rub off on your child and will help him to develop a positive attitude.

2. Praise Your Child’s Efforts – Children crave praise from their role models. When your child has made an effort at something, praise him honestly, even if the effort was unsuccessful. You will not only teach them the value of an honest effort but will also build his self-esteem. Make sure you are not fake though. Praise him for the right things and tell him that there is always a next time.

3. Ignore The Negative Aspects – No child is perfect. For that matter, you are not perfect yourself. So, why do you focus on the negative aspects of your child? Instead, focus on your child’s positive qualities.


  1. Hi ya!

    Dropping by from the Singapore Mom Bloggers group on FB.

    I totally agree with you. I have to admit that I have caught myself doing the same 'brush off a compliment and attempt to be humble' thing the first few times strangers have passed comments on my son. Ironically, I did so with a puffed up pride which I tried to cover with the disparaging comment.

    Thankfully, I caught myself before my son is able to understand much of what's going on around him - and I do not intend to do so ever again, especially now that he's more aware of compliments and attention.

    Our intention may be to be humble or coy about the compliment passed, but to a child, it would mean a world of difference for his self-esteem.

    Thanks for this reminder! :)

  2. Hi there, just dropped by from the Mom Bloggers group too. It really is a very Asian thing to do to downplay praises. I still remember feeling hurt when my Mum did it when I was a child too! Now things have come full circle and I catch myself doing it. Working on just saying thanks :)

  3. Hi Regina,
    Thanks for stopping by! And yes, we sometimes forget that they are just standing next to us and can understand exactly what we say. Pls drop by again! :)

  4. Bean bean,

    Welcome and thanks for dropping by too. Yes as children we 'learn' behaviors right? And because of that we end up doing things 'the old way'! :)

    Pls visit again :)

  5. I think sometimes even we tend to brush off compliments that we receive ourselves!

    So perhaps it starts there? :)

    Btw I've emailed you!

  6. Love it and super agree as well!!!

  7. Hey Evelyn,

    I received your questions. Will reply ASAP. Was on leave today and am swarmed with work. Can only peek into FB once in a while. :p

  8. Adora,

    I lurrrrve your letter D! :D


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Be warned: All content in this blog is copyright protected.

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected