There’s an interesting in Huffington Post about praise (‘good job!’) and its absence in (some? all?) waldorf schools. I do remember that there was never any praise, but had someone asked me, I hadn’t known why — I would have said that the times were like that or that, sentimentally, I didn’t deserve it (I never did). But perhaps it wasn’t only the times. (Or me.) I’m not sure if this approach to praise (or to not praising in the way it’s done elsewhere these days) was deliberate, but in the article, it seems to be. Instead the waldorf teacher says ‘thank you’ or something like that, that is, acknowledges the child in some other way. I don’t remember that either, to be honest, but maybe they did. (It can’t have made me feel seen.) But times were different, and I’m sure children weren’t treated in all respects in the same way they are today. Maybe the ‘good job!’-praise really has become commonplace and necessary almost everywhere.
Here’s a snippet from the article:
Authentic gratitude is enough of an acknowledgment to foster self-esteem without leading to the kind of dependency on others that “good job” seems to do. In saying “thank you,” a teacher says to a child “I see you. I see that you are doing something positive.” In an ideal world, that kind of acknowledgment is all that is needed for the seeds of self-esteem and self-confidence to take root and grow in a healthy, non-narcissistic direction. Children cultivated toward dependence on external praise through constant positive stroking are at risk for growing into poorly-adjusted adults who must always look to others for approval. They never have a chance to develop their own internal resources.
(I kind of like the idea, to tell you the truth.)