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Should I be making a fuss of dd's achievements? Or not?

(27 Posts)
batters Wed 02-Mar-05 13:54:58

Once again I am asking for the advice and wisdom of fellow Mumsnetters.

Earlier this week I had my parent / teacher conference with my dd's teacher. I got really excellent feedback and was very pleased . Dd is at the top of class academically. Just as importantly, in my opinion, the teacher says she always tries really hard, she has a very positive and enthusiastic attitude and she wants to learn.

Dd knew about this meeting and asked me about it afterwards. I told her the truth - how well she was doing, how proud we were of her etc. I also said I would buy her a little present to say "well done". This is what I normally do for the two parent teacher conferences and the one written report every year. So that is three not very expensive presents a year.

But speaking to my friend later, she has not even told her child she has had the meeting nor given her any feedback. She thinks that there is no need for this sort of thing. She also suggested that my little girl would start to expect a present as her right everytime she does something well.

Do people think this is true? I don't want my little girl to start to expect presents but at the same time I want her to know that she is doing really well. I also know that if I had received negative feedback about my daughter's behaviour or attitude I would have discussed this with her as well. I don't think I would be playing fair if I only raised issues of concern with my little girl and completely ignored her achievements.

Any ideas, anyone?

Pinotmum Wed 02-Mar-05 13:57:31

I think you are right to praise and reward her for her good work.

charellie Wed 02-Mar-05 13:57:52

I agree that if you dd has done well then she deserves praise and also if she has been naughty then again you wouldn't ignore that either. As for the pressie thing, I personally would save that for special awards. She could get dejected if for some reason in years to come she doen't do so well and will think not getting a pressie is punishment.

Gwenick Wed 02-Mar-05 13:59:18

I don't see anything wrong with 3 presents a year - it's not like everytime she gets all the questions right at school you're giving her something! If it was my DD I'd do the same - it's one thing giving presents for 'special' achievments and its completely another doing what your friend is suggesting you're doing and giving something each time she does something good.

Don't know how old your DD is, but I always 'knew' when the reports were sent home or when the parent teacher meetings were even if my parents didn't mention them.

As long as you're talking to her 'whatever' the 'result' of these meetings and reports are stuff your friend!

pipsy1 Wed 02-Mar-05 14:00:13

I think it is fair enough to talk to her about the meetings you have at school and discuss her progress with her, but maybe you should make clear the presents are for 'trying hard' and 'positive attitude' and not for being top of the class. She is putting in a lot of effort which is tobe praised but she may have another sibling who tries just hard but does not get such high achievements, and that is just as worthy of recognition.

Niddlynono Wed 02-Mar-05 14:09:05

I think it's really important to praise your children when they do well, as it motivates them, and also to talk to them if they haven't done as well. It helps to have constructive criticism whether you're 5 or 50 so you can see where you can improve.

The present giving element is always going to be controversial but as you say it's 3 times a year, not every week, and they're inexpensive so I don't see a problem.

Just enjoy the fact that you have a bright daughter who is enthusiastic about learning. I'm sure she's a credit to you.

Well done Miss 'Batters'!

marialuisa Wed 02-Mar-05 14:10:19

I think you're right to do what you're doing Batters. TBH my parents did this with me and it didn't lead me to expect presents for doing well.

roisin Wed 02-Mar-05 14:12:34

I don't see any problem with what you've done Batters. I agree with comments here that you need to make sure your dd does not feel a "weight of expectation" on achievement if she is consistently top of the class, and that you need to make sure that you are praising and rewarding effort and "doing her best" rather than top marks. But I'm sure you do this anyway.

I always got great reports and top marks at school, but my parents never discussed them with me or praised me for them in any way. I know they were keen to show them to friends and relatives, but I wish they had directly said something to me as well.

motherinferior Wed 02-Mar-05 14:13:35

My parents explicitly didn't give us presents for doing well...but in fact (admittedly my parents are quite spectacularly crap parents in many ways) this just made us feel that we were expected to slog on and on and get top marks.

I think the attitude, as much as the achievements, deserve congratulations - you're spot on. And quite honestly knowing your lovely daughter, I think a present just for being there is deserved. She's lovely.

Sponge Wed 02-Mar-05 14:17:10

My dd's only 4 but she knows when parent's evening is so I can't see how you can keep it from her.
I would do exactly what you're doing. I always give dd lots of praise for trying hard or doing well, I think it's really important for kids to keep their enthusiasm up and to let them know you're proud of them.
I think your friend is being a bit mean.

lisalisa Wed 02-Mar-05 14:20:51

Message withdrawn

Marina Wed 02-Mar-05 14:20:52

You are clearly rewarding the effort your dd puts in to her work, and her behaviour in class. I don't see any problem with this and we do the same with ds (who is also doing well by trying hard and being enthusiastic and helpful in class).
I am astonished that a child of seven is not considered worthy of feedback (your friend's dd). Ds was on to his report earlier this term like a rat out of a drain and was keen to have confirmed the areas he needs to concentrate on, as well as receiving praise for the areas where hard work has paid off.
I think you did exactly the right thing. Well done to dd, her teacher and her supportive parents say I! I'll buy you a present next time I see you Batters

Enid Wed 02-Mar-05 14:23:24

I would do exactly the same. I didn't get anything but more expectation loaded on my shoulders when I did well at school. Good for you batters.

motherinferior Wed 02-Mar-05 14:24:47

Good girl, Batters! Now will that be something pink and tacky, or a nice Suitable Book ?

JanH Wed 02-Mar-05 14:24:54

I have always been exceedingly mingy with prizes but do agree that effort and a good attitude should be rewarded - she does sound lovely, batters

lisalisa, your mitzvah star chart is a fab idea and well done for keeping it going with 3 kids. Yours sound lovely too

Marina Wed 02-Mar-05 14:25:49

I was bought Anne of Green Gables for doing well in the equivalent of Key Stage 2 but that was my lot apart from an unspoken assumption that I would get a starred first at Cambridge and go into the Diplomatic Service, FGS. Even now my dad still sends me hopeful press cuttings advertising realistic career options such as Director of the Bodleian Library etc

sacha3taylor Wed 02-Mar-05 14:25:52

My DS(5) is very worried about doing things in front of an audience. This was his first year to be in a christmas play at school and was absolutly petrified! At the end of the 3 days i bought him a spiderman to let him know that i was proud of him. He did however come to expect presents and started telling me that he was worried about doing school things when I knew he wasn't. I tried to explain to him that good behaviour/being brave was important but expecting presents was unacceptable. Does this make any sense?

Tinker Wed 02-Mar-05 14:25:56

I would carry on doing as you do batters.

Marina Wed 02-Mar-05 14:26:37

That's a lovely idea lisa, might copy that one...

Enid Wed 02-Mar-05 14:27:17

marina lol

lisalisa Wed 02-Mar-05 14:35:27

Message withdrawn

batters Wed 02-Mar-05 14:43:11

oh what a lovely set of messages, thank you everyone .

I should have said dd is nearly 7. There is no way she could not have been aware of the meeting. She is also an only child and will remain so for evermore so there is no chance of upset of another sibling!

I think I have made it clear to dd that I am rewarding her effort and attitude as well as how well she is actually doing. I hope I have anyway! I am glad people think I am on the right track - I had one of those crisis of confidence moments!

Thank you again - this thread has made me smile.

Beetroot Wed 02-Mar-05 15:15:02

Message withdrawn

happymerryberries Wed 02-Mar-05 16:04:53

I always give praise and rewards. Often the rewards are 'soft' ones like a hug and a 'well done'. Other times the kids get a 'hard' reward, something that doesn't cost much. (dd got the Hobbit for the last report) We always discuss dd reports with her, in fact the school gets them to write some of it themselves. Allowing children to take ownership of their own learning is vital and should be encouraged.

In school I give masses of soft rewards, 'well done, great, genius' stuff. I also give hard rewards for outstanding performance, be that getting A*s or when children significanly improve their work/attitude in class.

tigermoth Thu 03-Mar-05 07:24:26

Agree with the other,batters and well done your dd!
I feel children have a need and a right to get feedback about school reports. Absolutely agree that rewarding good attitude and hard work and the resulting achievement is a good thing, not a bad thing. IME all school reports set targets for children (and IME parent teacher meetings tend to include targets too) so it's not as if feedback is just blanket praise. They also point to what needs to be done.]

Hope you opt for a pink and sparkly something for your dd (speaking as one who's pink and sparkly present buying opportunities are very lacking).

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