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To think it's fine to be ordinary?

(20 Posts)
Teenytinytoes Fri 17-Jun-11 09:36:31

My DM continually says how clever and talented my DC are for quite ordinary (IMO) accomplishments. For example: the baby touches the piano keys and suddenly she is outstandingly talented in music, DD2 does a nice picture and therefore is an artistic genius. I totally appreciate DM's kindness and love for my DC, and feel very proud of them myself, but equally feel that when I was a kid constantly being told how I was a genius when I was not was not helpful to my self esteem. My DM argues that she came from working class council house background and only went to uni as people believed in her and told her she was so great. what do you think??

cjbartlett Fri 17-Jun-11 09:37:06

it's what grandparents do

crazynanna Fri 17-Jun-11 09:44:43

Well,of course, my grandchildren are the most clever and talented beings that have ever graced the planet grin

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 17-Jun-11 09:44:58

Agree entirely with you, OP. I'm always reading about 'special, talented, gifted' - at everything - children; it seems that nobody has (or wants) average or normal or ordinary anymore. I think it's quite sad. Some parents/grandparents just aren't objective and it can put awful pressure on the child to try to live up to something they just can't do - and worse still, know that they aren't outstanding at all.

I think that if a parent can remove their blinkers and see their child for the special human being it is, regardless of perceived 'talents', they'd be able to spot genuine apptitude and develop it far earlier. I also think that to keep telling a child that it's too marvellous for words at everything, invalidates pretty much anything the child does. sad

Ordinary is perfectly fine, it's the 'canvas' to build on. I'd much rather my children were good 'all rounders' than 'gifted and talented' (parentally diagnosed) at this and that.

LuckyMrsT Fri 17-Jun-11 09:45:43

Hmm. I was probably not told I was brilliant often enough - my parents are lovely btw - and I will do it more for my DS. That said I think unless it's saved for genuine acheivement it becomes meaningless. Funnnily enough my DM is compltely different with her GCs and your post made me smile in recognition. She would have us believe that my 18 month old nephew practically recites Shakespeare when he's at their house (yet I've never heard him even say his own name...)

Butterbur Fri 17-Jun-11 09:50:06

My children appear to want uncritical praise from me. Remarks such as "You'd get a better mark in your music exam if you did more practice," and "You'd better do more stretching if you want to do well in that gym competition," do not go down at all well around here.

snailoon Fri 17-Jun-11 09:57:45

I think it's ok for grandparents to feel this way. They should try to remember that all other grandparents also feel this way.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 17-Jun-11 10:01:37

LuckyMrsT... My Mum is the same, genuine achievements get really praised. It means a lot though, to me, if I've really managed something spectacular, which is very, very infrequently. grin

My niece, now 5, gets praised for every little thing... she doesn't even listen to it now because it's meaningless, but sometimes, when praise isn't forthcoming, she solicits it... she announced the other day that she had 'done a poo' AND flushed the toilet. hmm

ShushBaby Fri 17-Jun-11 10:02:14

YABU. It makes me feel a bit nauseous, though moreso when parents do it, not so much grandparents- that's what they do, innit?

What bugs me is that it's as though people don't want to value their kids for who they ARE- for being funny, or good company, or affectionate, or just themselves. They want to compare them to other kids or the 'average', to add value to their child through its accomplishments.

I'm reading too much into it, granted. But it is a bit <blech>

BuckBuckMcFate Fri 17-Jun-11 10:26:03

I like that my mum believes my DC are amazingsmile

In the course of an average day I am probably going to have to tell them off at least once, chivvy them along to tidy up after themselves, make them do their homework.

My mum doesn't have to do all of the boring stuff with them and they get to spend time with someone who really does think 99% of the things they do are amazing.

It's good for them I think and it also helps me see them beyond the point of view of repetition and the drudgery of day to day life.

She doesn't let them just do whatever they want and they are generally very well behaved when they are with her. The only way I would find it annoying was if the GP thought all behaviour, good or bad was amazing.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 17-Jun-11 10:38:01

I think I missed the point... doh! Yes, I think it's great when grandparents 'cheerlead' their grandchildren... it's a special relationship and different to the one the parents have. smile

SpecialFriedRice Fri 17-Jun-11 10:51:06

It is fine to be ordinary. But its also fine for GP's to think the sun shines out their GC's arses!!

My DD is ordinary I'd say, but I'll always tell her she is beautiful and smart and capable of anything because that's what I want her to believe!

HughManatee Fri 17-Jun-11 11:39:46

If it's overdone I guess it can be annoying, but IMO it's better than the opposite. I was constantly told I was useless and I'd always fail; up until recently believed it.

lesley33 Fri 17-Jun-11 11:46:53

I think children should be praised. But I agree its not fair to tell them what they have done is amazing if it is not.

I was constantly very highly praised for my intelligence. I still remember very clearly as a child the dawning realisation that I wasn't actually the genius my parents told me I was. I felt embarassed and ashamed.

I come from a very poor background but went to uni. And yes if I hadn't been praised and encouraged by my parents to achieve at school, I probably wouldn't have gone there - but the praise should be proportionate.

thefirstMrsDeVere Fri 17-Jun-11 11:52:04

I dont really know what ordinary is.

I think its fine not to excell academically and that seems to be a terrible crime in some sectors.

I dont want to sound cheesy but I dont think anyone is really ordinary.

But then I am a Portage worker and we are all a bit like that grin

thaigreencurry Fri 17-Jun-11 11:54:10

I think she sounds lovely. Sometimes I read on here of overly critical grandparents and that makes me sad.

I don't praise for the sake of praise but I do praise my boys a lot. Praise is good for self esteem.

lesley33 Fri 17-Jun-11 11:57:22

I think praise is only good for self esteem if it is meaningful. Children who are constantly praised for everything they do, learn that the praise is meaningless.

MissMap Fri 17-Jun-11 11:57:59

Its ok and maybe neccessary for GPs to to ladle out this sort of praise but absolutely and totally damaging when parents do it. A member of my extended family is a case in point with her children. At best its tedious for the people who have to listen at worst its damaging to the children.

Teenytinytoes Fri 17-Jun-11 15:26:31

Thanks everyone great to hear a range of views and that it's normal for
Grandparents to do this as compared to parents. Makes me feel ok at not super hyper praising all the time but glad she does it. Thanks!

Laquitar Fri 17-Jun-11 15:35:07

My mum keeps wondering in which country my dcs will compete at Olympic Games! grin She is 100% sure they are made for the Olympics, ds in swimming, dd1 in gymnastics!

They are not even very good at it. They just do it for hobby. She thinks they are the only children in the world to do sports.

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