Telling your kids good job?

United States
January 26, 2007 1:52pm CST
Do you tell your kids good job even when you think they havent done a good job? Or when you think they can do better? My four year old loves to color and most of the time she does do a good job and I tell her so. But today when she was coloring she colored one whole page one whole color. I didnt think too much of it but I told her good job anyways. I know she can do better than that she usually uses a variety of colors and even stays in the lines. Was that wrong of me to tell her it was a job well done when I know it wasn't????
11 people like this
69 responses
• United States
26 Jan 07
I think encouraging your child and telling them they did a good job fall into different catagories. I too have a four year old that love to color. He is either real bad at it or he is an impressionist. I always thank all of my children when they give me pictures. I know it is not the picture they are showing me, they are showing that they love me. I carry a small piece of paper in my wallet. I have carried it for eight years. It has a small heart on it that is was colored in blue crayon. My daughter gave it to me as I left for work one day. She told me it was a hug from her and whenever I needed one, I always have one. Good pictures and messy pictures belong on the fridge side-by-side. Saul Goode
• Australia
27 Jan 07
There are several ways to view this, and I don't think any is right or wrong. Personally, I could never PRAISE my children when I knew they could do better. I would always THANK them, but I would spend time with them to discuss what they had done. If it was a colouring in, we would talk about why this was blue, that was red, etc. It was always a learning experience, not a lecture, and always in love and encouragement. They never needed pushing, but the encouragement was always there. I tend to think that if we tell them something is a good job when we (and they) know it isn't, we are encouraging a slack, or doesn't matter attitude to learning and to work of any sort. We cannot push children, but we should encourage them. We should never make them feel unappreciated, but we should never DIScourage them. It is a touchy balance. On every one of my childrens' school books, this verse was printed: Good, better, best. Never let it rest Until your good is better, And your better is best.
• United States
27 Jan 07
I agree there are ways that you can tell your child that you appreciate them, but think that they could do better. I would hate to lie to my children by telling them that something that is not their best effort is doing a "good job" just as I would tell them "good job" on something that I know that they were diligent in doing!
@34momma (13891)
• United States
26 Jan 07
It's coloring, i would not worry to much about that. at that age praise is what they need no matter how good of a job they do. praise at this age just encourages them to do more things. once you tell them they can do better or it's not that great. they don't want to do that thing any more cause you won't think they are any good at it. if you don't think they are doing a good job, you can say something like that is nice, but look how momey does it. they love that. as a mother of three trust me it works
2 people like this
• United States
27 Jan 07
I will always tell them good job!
1 person likes this
@jen_2006 (85)
• United States
27 Jan 07
Wow give the kid a break. At that age anything constructive they do should be praised, If anyone should tell a kid that they are great just the way they are it would be their parents.
1 person likes this
@Debs_place (10524)
• United States
27 Jan 07
Maybe you should have asked her why she did one color, while you may not feel right about praising the coloring...she might have a great explaination that is worthy of praise. No, I tried not to give empty praise. I think that is why some children have so many problems adapting in life, they feel that good grades and compliments are an entitlement, not something ths is earned.
1 person likes this
• United Arab Emirates
27 Jan 07
I think you did a good job when you tell your kid she did a good job even if you personally think that it wasn't really that good and there's nothing wrong with what you did. It can boost her self-confidence and could encourage her more to enhance her creativity. It was as well good that while complimenting on what she did you would also suggest to her some ways you think she can improve. It's just like encouraging her to do better with her unaware that you don't actually find her work "that good". Anyway, she has plenty of room for improvement with proper guidance and i guess you will be good at it.
1 person likes this
• China
27 Jan 07
be generouse to your 4 years old kid.I think whether it is a pic or not is not very important. The most important thing is your kid wants to get encourage from you. he or she respect you, and take you as authority. We should not demand too much from a 4 years old kid.
1 person likes this
@anja31 (708)
• Canada
27 Jan 07
my daughter is two years old. SO she is learnong a lot, when she do something, I will tell her that she is a good girl or when she say new words, although she the pronounce isnt right all the time, still I wil say that she is a good girl and that she did a good job.
• Philippines
27 Jan 07
it's ok to tell her good job but explain to her that she can always improve on her coloring skills. teach her how to color diffrent objects with it's natural color so she would be able to recognize and associate everytime she colors objects. like to color an apple with red or a leaf with green
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Jan 07
You know what I do...I tell my kids "wow! that's pretty good...but, why did you color way outside the lines?" or like the other day my son was writing his name in THANK YOU cards...he just turned 5 and got really sloppy after about 4 of them. I just told him "you are doing really good writing your name so many times, but this one isn't as good as the others...make sure you do a great job". I think you can never give enough praise! ya know? things such as coloring and art is more expression than anything...maybe she was just expressing herself. :) As they get older, I think it's better to tell them the truth a bit, but when they are so young, I think hearing how much mommy and daddy love their work is more important
1 person likes this
@lilypie (79)
• United States
27 Jan 07
Yes I tell them good job because children see things different than adults what we see as odd looks right to them and I have found that if I ask them why they did things a certain way I am usually amazed at ther answer..
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Jan 07
I have a 4 year old too and she isn't interested in staying in the lines much. She still scribbles all over her pages. I know she can stay in the lines if she wants. She knows that too. When she shows me a picture she did that is real scribbly I tell her it is very nice and her color choices are wonderful (interesting is more like it, lol) but I also ask her if she thinks it is her best work. If she says yes I leave it at that. Sometimes I tell her I think she could do just a little better or I give her suggestions. She seems to like that. I'll tell her "I think it needs more orange" and she will run off and add some. I guess I go half and half because there have been times I have told her the picture is beautiful when all she did was make a giant green tornado over the whole thing and other times I tell her flat out that she didn't try her hardest. She usually agrees. I'm not mean about it. She will usually go on to make a better picture. She is the type that needs encouragement to try harder. My son is the opposite. If I told him he didn't try hard enough he would have a meltdown. He can't take criticism so I have to be careful what I say to him. He is actually harder on himself then I ever could be. I think many of his attempts are beautiful but he thinks they are bad and rips them up. I have no drawings by him because he doesn't think they are good enough--no matter how much praise I give him. Every kid is different so I don't think there is an "answer" to this question.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Jan 07
Encouragement for our children is a good thing. Everyone young or old need it. Telling my children they did a good job was crucial to their upbringing. They talk about how I was always encourging them and they are better adults for it. My encouragement has not stopped either. It is amazing what one can do with a bit of encouragement. You could always tell your child the nexttime, lets try more colors etc. Gentle urging is also a good thing. I can say with pride I have 3 very wonderful adult children today and they are secure in themselves and whatever they try and accomplish. I think my standing behind them helped. I wish I had had more of it as a child.
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21586)
27 Jan 07
Hmmmmmm... I think she might have been testing you! If you know she can colour with various colours and stay within the lines, then she probably was testing to see whether you told her good job when she did it all one colour. Kids are clever like that! That could be one reason, or maybe she was angry or upset about some underlying thing and reflected it in her colouring effort. I think I might have asked her why she'd coloured it all one colour, as she may have been trying to draw your attention to something. I'm not a child psychologist by any means but I've brought up my own and I have grandchildren, besides having worked in a children's home and undertaken quite a bit of childminding. You have to try and think the way they do. Not easy, I know, but I feel that any changes like that should be addressed. By all means, tell her good job when it's halfway good, but this being uncharacteristic, I think I would want to know why. In a nutshell, my answer is "no", don't praise her if she does a bad job... ask her why she didn't do it as nicely as usual and ask her if she has a problem. Kids of four have a mind and a way of their own, and I'm sure she'll respond to the question. Good luck, and thank you for this discussion, which I found very interesting.
• Canada
27 Jan 07
I have a 2 year old that is currently potty training so I tell him good job even if he goes in and sits down weather he does anything or not so I see no problems giving them praise if it encourages them to keep trying
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
27 Jan 07
In my opinion, you suppose to talk the true if your kid do the wrong thing.If not, your kid still do the same until your true explanation come.Even just about coloring a picture.
1 person likes this
@eflynazwa (133)
• Malaysia
27 Jan 07
I think its ok for you to praise. But I learn that we should never praise too much. If its not good, say that it's very nice and suggest something to make her do better. Kids learn from parents and I think encouraging is a good thing to do.
1 person likes this
@honeyangel (1992)
27 Jan 07
no it wasnt wrong to tell your four year old that she did a good job on her coloring,i prease my kids all the time,even if i dont like it,my kids did somthing for me and by telling them it good it helps there confidence.your kid it only 4 keep telling her good job
@ublaze (94)
• Sri Lanka
27 Jan 07
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@loved1 (5332)
• United States
27 Jan 07
You have been reported!