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How do I handle this?

Our child has been diagnosed with severe learning disabilities as well as very delayed emotional and social development. She is in a self contained, special needs classroom and while she should be in fourth grade she is performing at an early first grade level.

She receives constant praise at school for any and every little thing she does. Problem? I don't think standing on one foot and saying "cow" in a funny way is worthy of an award. She often brings home awards and has no idea what she did to receive them but now constantly chants "My teachers love me, I'm awesome".

We have always praised her accomplishments, love her dearly and tell her so every day. We already fuss over her a little more because of her special needs, but we have another child and her constant need for us to match her teachers constant praise is exhausting. If we don't ohh and ahh over every little thing she does now she sulks.
What to do?

Answer Question

Asked by BakingMom74 at 4:43 PM on Oct. 12, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 5 (71 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • I think you just make sure to spend time with your daughter that is in regular school. Make sure you praise her for her big accomplishments and that she gets good attention but I wouldnt praise her for every little thing. As she gets older she will understand her sisters disability more.

    Answer by ria7 at 4:49 PM on Oct. 12, 2010

  • I would go with a "I knew you could do it" attitude. THis will help her understand that you don't oohh and ahhh because you have faith in her abilities. You could also talk with her teacher about your concerns. There may be a reason behind the teachers behavior that you haven't thought of. If not then you can discuss your concerns with the teacher and try to get on the same praise page (if that makes sense).

    Answer by terpmama at 5:02 PM on Oct. 12, 2010

  • Thank you for your help! I appreciate any and every answer. Actually my other child is a boy and we always celebrate and praise both children's accomplishments.
    I didn't have enough space to really cover everything in my question. The little girl that I talk about in my question came to live with us just a year ago. Her mother was not able to care for her so she is in our custody permanently. I love them both so, so much and just don't want to feel like I'm doing something wrong by not praising her enough or praising her too much and letting her grow up expecting it.
    Gosh, I think we all go crazy at some point trying to do right by our kids, don't we?


    Comment by BakingMom74 (original poster) at 5:19 PM on Oct. 12, 2010

  • "I would go with a "I knew you could do it" attitude. THis will help her understand that you don't oohh and ahhh because you have faith in her abilities." - That is a GREAT answer! I will definitely try this...thank you so much, terpmama!!


    Comment by BakingMom74 (original poster) at 5:21 PM on Oct. 12, 2010

  • SURE! Glad I could help. If that sounds "right" to you (as in you think it will fit well with your family) you could try reading love and logic (there are a bunch of different ones based on age). Try your local library. I have found (working with kids with issues) that they will rise to our expectations (assuming we are realistic in those expectations). They also tend to rise above them when they know that we have faith in them and believe they can do it.

    Answer by terpmama at 6:41 PM on Oct. 12, 2010

  • You are so right. It's wonderful to celebrate and praise ACTUAL accomplishments, but to make a big deal out of every little thing is doing an injustice to the child. An award should be significant - children should be able to be clearly excited about and invested in why they received it! If we "award" every little thing, we're indicating that every little thing deserves an award - and that's just not so.

    Answer by Gaccck at 10:46 AM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • i agree gl

    Answer by mekarevell at 9:34 PM on Oct. 13, 2010

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