praise

by thankfeldenkrais

When life starts to become automated,
You often don’t realise until someone points it out,
How much,
Or what,
It is you have been doing.

And you don’t seek a congratulations,
Or a cheer squad,
Because you know now there is no other reality for you.
You couldn’t be doing anything different now if you tried,
Because not only the world as you knew it long gone,
But perspective has shifted so monumentally,
That you don’t know how to step back into the shoes you once wore,
Therefore cannot walk among it as you once did.

And despite what you may tell yourself,
About life balance,
About finding me time,
The reality is,
You are on all the time.

Probably stemming from guilt,
Certainly from love,
Fear a demanding factor,
The instilled behaviour,
Like a reflex,
I beat on over-compensation drive.

To dare not let him down,
Insisting he knows always,
How proud I am.
I am a running theatrical display,
Of praise.

Having it brought to my attention,
Again I am schooled,
Less is more.

And in this case it’s no different,
Isaac starts to default into looking to us for approval,
For confirmation of success,
Every time he does something,
As if he doesn’t quite trust himself,
Or as if he’s doing it for us,
Not for himself.
And so I’m told,
We need to be careful how we praise his achievements.

It’s not as ruthless as it sounds,
But ironically harder than it sounds,
For me.

It’s explained though,
The importance of rewarding him for the process he is taking,
Not simply the outcome.

We don’t want him striving for perfection,
But to know that doing it is the achievement in itself.

Lots of well done and that’s it for encouragement,
Over the constant you did it! after each act.
And sometimes nothing needs to be said at all.

We can’t just congratulate him on the finished action.

Because we want him trying indefinitely.

It seems a minor characteristic,
Even to be expected under these circumstances,
With so much deferring to adult support.
But long term it will play into his ability for self directed play,
His feelings of success,
His self pride,
His confidence to make decisions.

And with all his incredible hard work thus fair,
His monumental gains,
Which I do, and will continue to shout from the roof tops (just try and stop me),
I see the value in using praise accordingly,
For his own benefit,
Directing it more appropriately,
So not to hinder his long term development,
Or overfeed a deference for constant external approval.

Especially not because I haven’t relax my wide toothy smile,
And busy jazz fingers,
Following his every move,
And shadowing his every triumph with my pompoms,
In fear he won’t know I’m committed,
And his biggest fan.

IMAG1882

Because how could he not know,
And thankfully finally I’m told to just CALM DOWN!

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