my personality is setting me up to be life’s bitch

The new thing in child rearing is to do away with telling kids "good job". Good Job conditions a child to search for approval and it discourages them in trying something that might get less praise. It creates "praise junkies".

A study took two groups of students and gave them math tests. Group A was told "Great Job!" when their tests were returned. Group B was told "wow, you tried really hard." In a follow up, group B students were more likely to try a harder level math than group A students who did not want to fail the more challenging level and disappoint anyone (the instructors or themselves).

Good Job tells the recipient how to feel – good because I’m saying so.
It creates a desire in people to do things solely for the praise – and as soon as it is withdrawn or neglected, we lose interest in our activity.

It’s really hard not to say "good job!" I’ve been conditioned to want praise and now I’m a dealer, hooked and pushing my product on others.
JP builds a block house. Good Job! JP ties his shoe, "Wow! Good Job!" Kai sounds out a word, "Good J–, I mean very good  … I mean, um, you sounded that out yourself!"

(Instead of immediate praise – telling a child how to feel- it is better to ask and explore "what was the hardest part?" "how did you decide on those colors?")

I went through years of montessori school and rigorous private high school where clawing our way to A’s was our way of getting praise. We were grade junkies for sure. At a school where our jocks doubled as nerds, little mattered more than a pristine GPA.

I’m sure my schooling isn’t only at fault. The four biting words in my father’s vocabulary are "I’m disappointed in you". Not "I’m angry". I’m disappointed.

Hearing those words is like being surrounded by a mob of accusing eyes silently bombarding me with shame.

I’m an approval junkie.
I befriended my teachers, loved their praise. (Although, in my quest for praise I pushed myself to ridiculous limits when I was in 8th grade, simply to get a B+ – an A in most classes from this teacher – on a paper. And it did pay off. I didn’t have perfect grades, but the teacher nominated me for the middle school english award which I did win. And it was this win that made me realize – or made me think – I love to write).

Perhaps more than an approval junkie, I am allergic to possible disapproval. I get nauseous, antsy.

Like today.

I was off on my till by $10 today (the exact amount at which point we get written up if the money is never found).
This is annoying because I will worry about it all night until  my manager calls me tonight to tell me if the money was located (if he remembers).
I also hate being off and not knowing why. If only I could have some sort of replay tape paused on my 24th transaction of the day, giving back a ten dollar instead of a 1. (Ever since I accidentally gave an extra $20 in change for a hundred in my first few weeks at a till, I’ve been super careful about this and usually count my money back twice so I don’t understand how I was so off today.)

I also don’t want to be banned from concessions (this is only my second write up in 6 months, but…). If I’m stuck cleaning theaters all summer I will go insane.

I’ll try to start posting Blackout poems once a week.

I’m off Sunday, Monday and am covering Shelby’s and Jenna’s shifts on Tuesday so I’m working a double (12pm-1am). I just keep repeating to myself, rent money.
update: Andrew found my missing cash. So I hit the shit out of the tennis ball for nothing. Well, I guess exercise is a bonus. Yikes, though, I really need to practice more. Also, I haven’t shaved my legs in a few days and I’m hyper-self conscious when it comes to wearing shorts in public when I haven’t shaved. We went on a spontaneous dinner after tennis – even though I begged to go home to "shower" (put on pants) first.

I wish I could either 1) shave more often or 2) stop being so self conscious about it.  I sometimes hold off on shaving my legs to make sure that I won’t mess around with the Boy. Only, that turned out not to be foolproof because somehow we ended up having sex anyway yesterday (although I tried to subtly keep my pants on for a while but not say why) and the whole time I just kept thinking about my legs.

I really know how to over complicate things.

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April 30, 2011

A secret that I have learned about most boys is that they really don’t care if our legs are shaved, as long as they aren’t at that phase where they’re sharp. Plus, when a boy is gettin’ some…if he’s got his mind on hairy legs, there’s something wrong. 🙂

May 2, 2011

This is an interesting theory about creating “praise junkies.” I’m not sure… it could go a lot of different ways… maybe desire for praise is innate and denying it just causes problems. > Who says there isn’t a planet out there other than Earth where HUMANS exist? Well, it’s certainly not impossible. It happens enough in Science-fiction shows (especially low budget ones.) I’d estimate the probability to be very low, though, because evolution has been full of countless small events that could have pushed things one way or another with completely different outcomes. Gould calls this “contingency” and gives many examples, concludes that “if you rewound the tape of life and reran it, you’d get something totally different each time.” I’d compare it as similarly likely to finding a civilization that speaks English as well (but that happens in sci-fi, too 😉 If the universe were literally infinite, I’d say sure, but best estimates are that there are no more than 10^24 stars total. Is that enough? I’m not convince it is. But anything’s possible. Thanks for the interesting comments. Davo

May 2, 2011

RYN: I don’t claim to be an expert on record players at all, but I can tell you this: We got ours from a used furniture store. It’s from the ’70’s and it’s a cabinet with the record player built in. I have seen tons around like this and I bet you could find one if you went digging through some thrift shops and used furniture stores in your town. Just turn it on in the store and make sure they havea record in there so that you can make sure it plays. Make sure the record is spinning fast enough (so that you can tell if the motor is dying) and check the needle because you will probably need a new one. They’re not that expensive and they last for a few months, you just have to make sure your needle is always in good shape because if it isn’t it will dig into your records and scratch the shit out of them. We ended up having to replace the record player that was in our cabinet, but we just bought a refurbished one from the 80’s at a record store for about $150. You can definitely find them though, and I think it’s worth it to search for an old one in good condition.

May 5, 2011

I read this entry the day it was posted and have been thinking about it ever since. I work in childcare and, as an experiment, tried to incorporate this line of thinking into my work for a few days. It’s awkward as all get out!! I can testify to that much!