As a teacher and a parent, I see the urge to over indulge your child and to make them the "king" of your castle. In the book Nurture Shock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, new research suggests that telling your child they are the very best at everything might hurt them more than help them. Among other nuggets of parenting wisdom, Bronson and Merryman explore common trends in early childhood intelligence identification (labeling a child "gifted" at five, might be wayyyy too soon) and explain (through their thorough research) novel outlooks on a child's mind. The book made me feel like I wasn't such a sucky parent for not praising my child for everything great they do. My sister recently overheard a parent at the park overly praising their child for how well they were swinging. Seriously. Like saying "Excellent" and "Great Job" for her kid pumping their feet back and forth. Seriously.
Instead of praising your kid for taking a good poo-poo, try to encourage the PROCESS of how they achieved their success. (I'm so impressed you worked so hard on that poo-poo! Ha, ha...okay, I will stop!) Instead of saying "you are such a smart girl", I should be saying, "I love how hard you worked to make that good grade'. The book comes at a time when so much is expected of children intellectually at very early ages. This book is a wake-up call to parents and teachers alike, that sometimes, our expectations can be too high and the need to label our kids "smart" at an early age can result in just the opposite. Nurture Shock is a must-read for new parents, and any other delusional 'rentals you think might need a smack in the face..."no, lady, your kid is not that flippin' great!"