February 28, 2011

Good girl?

When I first was told not to say ‘good boy’ or ‘good girl’ I thought people were being too politically correct as I was told that those types of comments gender stereotyped children.

I didn’t fully agree with that reasoning, but I began to be more conscious of the words I said to the children. And so instead of the simple praises that I say easily without thinking about, I would say the child’s name and make an effort to let them know what I’m praising them for.

So instead of ‘good girl’ I can say “Thanks for listening and getting your hat, Clare” or instead of ‘good boy’ I could say “That’s great putting the blocks away Charlie!”

Whether saying good boy or girl is stereotyping or not, I agree that we should try not to say it much. It’s easy to just say things without thinking about what you are saying. I believe that everything we do in the room is important. By actually thinking about what I say to the children I can turn a meaningless phrase into a positive interaction between myself and the child.

(photo credit)


Katie said...

I believe part of the issue is also that children tend to classify themselves as 'good' or 'bad' based on these comments. We should be letting them know that it's their behaviour that is good or bad, not themselves.

Erin said...

Oh yes, thats another good reason not to say it. It's good to explain your commenting on the behaviour not the child as a person.

Sherry and Donna said...

You're so right Erin ... It's so easy to just respond. It doesn't matter how much experience we have, I think we all need to be reminded of this from time to time!
Donna :) :)