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In this chapter, Mc Cready talks mostly about ENCOURAGEMENT. Before that, she mentioned the below:-


1. Name labelling: Names such as "the shy one", "the more helpful one", etc
2. Jumping in to help your child with a task that he can handle, you are undermining his capabilities and feelings of significance
3. Overprotect: Often use words like "Be careful!", "Don't go too fast" at the playground shows you are lack of confidence in them
4. Expect perfection of your child

And a surprising discouragement is....

5. Rewards and Praise
 Rewards may work for a short period of time but your child may want more reward once he feels the current reward is not enough. If he does not get it, he will not obey anymore. In Mc Cready's words this is called "Discouraging towards future positive behaviour"

Praise works until your child fails. Example: Your child goes to a soccer game and first thing you say "How is my little champ?". Your child replies "Great! I am going to score 2 or more goals today". But she does not even at first half and you say "Don't worry, you are a star player, remember?" and the coach say "You are going to land a goal for me today right Super Star"? And in the end, he does not. You say "You were awesome. The other team got lucky. You are still the super star" and he will say "No. I am not. I did not score a goal even. I hate soccer"

Or another example which is typical is when your child brings home and A for History and you praise him "Great job. It just goes to show you are the smartest kid in the class". The week after came and his Math scored a B. He will feel ashamed to bring this result home because now he isn't the smartest anymore and it will disappoint his parents.

Rewards however can be given if a chore at home is a special or rare chore and not a daily chore. Example to wipe the windows is a not a daily chore but to clean up the dinner table is a daily chore and should not be given any reward.


Everything positive and negative our kids do is based on MOTIVATION. Motivations comes in two forms: external and internal. External means by praise or rewards and those who are motivated externally are hoping for something tangible or gain esteem from someone else. However when someone in motivated "internally", they look within for their reward (pride in a job well done, a feeling of accomplishment, personal enjoyment, etc)

If you only have a pre-schooler, you may think that external motivation is much easier and works well. But if your pre-schooler grows up to be a teenager and you are not with him for long period of times, you will not be able to monitor his behaviour. If his peers offers good "rewards" to him, he may take it. But if we build the motivation internally, they can then make their own good decisions and be more confident in themselves when they grow older.

In part 2, I will summarize Mc Cready's Toolbox Solution No.3: How to Use Encouraging Phrases and also example on how to approach both situation stated above (one on the child at the soccer game and one more at his History and Math results)
It was a long weekend last week due to the Raya holidays. 4 days in a row, 24/7 with Ayden is nice but really tiring. I had to think up of activities that will be able to satisfy my active little beanstalk, do some housework and cook. It is more tiring than working I tell ya, So by the 4th day, I was already at 20% of my energy but Ayden was still at his 100% energy level.

He ran out to the backyard without his shoes on as I was washing vegetables outside. This was what happened:-

Me: Ayden, aren't you suppose to wear your shoes when you are out here? Please wear your shoes first
AK (who was inside the house): Ayden, please wear your shoes

Ayden ran in and ran out laughing. As I repeated myself I could feel my energy is getting even lesser as my temper rise. AK was already prepared at the door to put on his shoes but he still ran out without it. I got mad and just grab Ayden and told AK to hurry and put on his shoes. As expected, he did not like that. He struggled and screamed but I just did not care anymore. I was tired and he is making me more grumpy.

Once he had his shoes on, I let go and stomped my way to continue to wash the vegetables while AK went on to do his housework. I did not realise Ayden was still mad till he came near me and started hitting me. I did not want to look at him at all because I was afraid I would want to scream at him. I allowed him to hit me a few more times as many thoughts ran in my head. Thoughts like (It was YOUR fault for not putting on your shoes earlier and now you are hitting me?? I should just scream back at you for being so rude to me or push you away). Then I recalled my sister's advice on breathing. I started breathing (1,2, 3) till I calmed down a little.

I look down at Ayden who was still hitting me. I saw hurt in his eyes and I felt pain. So I went down on my knees:-

Me: I am sorry Ayden
Ayden: *close to tears* and wanting to hit me again
Me: Hands are not for hitting ok? I know mummy made you feel really angry right?
Ayden: *stared at me close to tears*
Me: Mummy is really sorry (gestured my hands on my head to show I am sorry) for forcing you to wear your shoes. Although you are supposed to wear your shoes here, mummy should never do that again. Mummy is sorry. Mummy promise she will try her best to remember this and never do it again. Ok?
Ayden: *sobbing a little*
Me: You want a hug from mummy?
Ayden: *reluctant but eventually came near me*

I hugged him and apologise again. Then things got much better for the rest of the day. If I decided to scream back at him for hitting me, I think my day (and his day) would have gone the other way around. I am glad I said sorry to him.
Me and my beanstalk at the swimming pool
My mum used to tell me how when I was a toddler, I used to love hearing her sing the Lullaby song and will finish the last word of each lyric sentence. Example when she sings, she will sing as “Lullaby and…..??” and I will say GOODNIGHT. Wasn’t I adorable? Hehehehe.

Now that I am a mother, I know how it feels to sing to my own child. For the past two weeks, I have been singing this song to Ayden every night and he will sing along. The difference between him and me (when I was young) is that he tends to try to sing the whole song with me even if he does not know how to sing every word. But he will sing the last word of every sentence louder. As he sings he will smile and I find that to be very loving :)
Thanks to my mum who sang for me and now I shall pass it on to my son. Hopefully one day he will be able to feel what I felt and how my mother felt when she sang for me.
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