‘Show don’t Tell?’

Proud by Michelle W.                                                                                                                     When was the last time someone told you they were proud of you?

 This is an interesting topic because when I was young, parents kept their feelings to themselves. It wasn’t that we felt neglected. Even telling a child that they loved them reminds me of the writing rule: ‘Show don’t tell.’

So we were shown that we were cherished in practical ways. Mothers generally stayed home, and therefore were there to cook meals for the family and keep everything in order. Mum sewed dresses for me. We were read to and with no TV, families talked. My parents were not demonstrative. Hugs were restricted for the odd occasion when children might return after a holiday away, or a kiss on the cheek before going to bed was the norm.

So as far as expressing ‘I’m proud of you!’, it would have been unspoken. Very different from the way children are brought up now.

Thinking back, my parents probably didn’t even express their pride in their sons who did achieve with their scholastic achievements. Being a late bloomer, I didn’t complete my university studies until I was in my forties. My mother did shown pleasure in this, especially as I gained tenure in a permanent teaching position. This did please her.

My children are far more able to express their feelings and they may have said they were proud of me, though I can’t remember. They were all delighted when I had, ‘Lily’s Wish’, my first book published. So I do believe in ‘Show’, but I can’t help break the rule and ‘Tell’ my children that I’m proud of them, occasionally.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/proud/

 

 

Advertisements

39 thoughts on “‘Show don’t Tell?’

  1. preciouspen1955

    Lovely post here , those words of praise can be such balm for the soul at times and like you I don’t remember receiving them often enough when I was a child. Also like you I went back to college later in life but I was 50 at the time and did not secure any real permanent employment afterwards.You did so well to achieve this and look after the family also I really admire this . University for me was the most amazing time and I loved every minute of it . Before I left I got a reference from one of the professors there , oh my , I cried when I read it. Later when I was talking to him I remarked how different my life would probably have been if that reference had been given to me years ago , if I had heard those words of praise from my parents they would definitely have lifted my heart to excel I think, who knows. My parents did the best they could with the praise and hugs and were truly remarkable loving people but a word of praise now and then would have been like gold especially from my dad.
    Today I try to find the words to show how proud I am of my children as often as possible , you are right about showing this rather than speaking it but I too break that rule often , it means so much to children when they know their efforts are noted sometimes. I will always treasure that reference that was given to me when I completed my studies that dear professor is a God in my eyes bless him.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. bkpyett Post author

      How wonderful Kathy that you were able to go to uni in your fifties! It changed my outlook on life, as I am sure it did yours. Whilst I was studying I was told they were not going give permanency to anyone over 35. I was devastated, and yet I continued, and was really lucky to find my niche. I guess cultures change. Children are encouraged far more than we were, which is really good. But you are right, those words the professor wrote for you are price-less.
      I am glad that you found someone who could see you and appreciate you for who you really are. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Unreqwrited

    I enjoyed this take on “show don’t tell”. The boomers and prior came from generations where children were “seen and not heard” and so was praise, lest it go to our heads 🙂 Society has now become child-centred and praise has now gone the other end of the pole. Somewhere in the middle there must be a happy balance. And I believe, as H has pointed out, that we can’t respond to children with a cookie-cutter approach as we all need different forms of encouragement. The key is to know which will flip the switch and that’s a tall order when you are dealing with a class full of kids.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
      1. Unreqwrited

        My brother has been a teacher for 30 years, I am currently working on my certification for teaching adults. We’ve had many a discussion, and you are right that it is becoming much more complex.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. greenwritingroom.com

    I think my parents were, relatively speaking, demonstrative and they were VERY keen on effort. Also of the anything-can-be-overcome school i.e. if you fall off a horse, the first thing you do is get back on and try again. Maybe that is why I am so bloody-minded and persistent even when my efforts are rather puny. Thank you Mother and Father, I only hope we did the same for our children.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. bkpyett Post author

      What a lovely tribute to your parents, Hilary. Your persistence will pay off. That is a wonderful quality and I don’t think your efforts are puny at all! We can be grateful to those wonderful people who gave so much!

      Like

      Reply
  4. Outlier Babe

    Can’t speak to my own parents’ praise, but think this is an area in which family therapists have it right: Praise the deed and effort more than the child:

    “What a terrific book report! The time and care you took really paid off!”

    “You came in fourth that time! Remember when you used to always be last? All your practice is starting to show, isn’t it?”

    If you want to toss in an “I’m proud of you!” after that, cool.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
      1. Outlier Babe

        Oh, I deserve no credit, and wasn’t this good as a new parent–I don’t think so, anyhow. It is what I’ve learned over the years, and most especially from an amazing therapist I had for ME for all of 2 1/2 mos.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. bkpyett Post author

        What is mos.? I felt I gained from a Swiss psychiatrist too, helping me to see things clearly. She encouraged me to participate in life, when I could easily have given up.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Outlier Babe

        GREAT video–I had read the studies, and of the difference in child-rearing language/results/children’s attitudes between Japan and the U.S., but seeing it in a video is so effective.

        This type of child reaction is why I used a football field poster to show reading fluency progress of each child in the class. Every child’s football began at a different place on the field–and stayed there all year. A different-colored football for that child advanced as that child’s fluency/speed advanced. Instead of comparing “my football to 32 others”–each child (and I) could see at a glance, and feel pride in, her/his own progress against her/his starting point.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. nonsmokingladybug

        You bet. I am looking forward to it…I always loved your block. BTW my name is Bridget and you can see me at the Happy Quitter a post called “The Zombies ate my brain”. So good to see you again.

        Like

      2. bkpyett Post author

        Thanks Bridget, I have just joined your following, so shall check out your blog more fully! Love your posts that I’ve read so far. BTW, I only have ladybugs on my iPad, so cant’ do them on the computer, sorry.

        Like

  5. Silver in the Barn

    We weren’t particularly coddled, praised, or treated in any way as though our parents thought we were special. Quite the opposite. I think they thought of us as little barbarians that needed to be civilized. Our accomplishments were treated as nice, but not earth shattering or worthy of too much hullaballoo. And yet, we knew we were loved by how we were cared for and the sacrifices my parents made for us.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. bkpyett Post author

      Your upbringing sounds similar to mine. When the news was on the radio, we as children were expected to be quiet and we were! Love the way you express yourself, Barbara!

      Like

      Reply
      1. Silver in the Barn

        Thanks, Barbara. The thing is I remember being aware of the great gulf between parents and child. There was no hint of equality. They were the rulers and we were the peasants. In a way, that is enormously comforting to a child (I am overstating, of course.) But we knew our place in the hierarchy and did what we were told, for the most part. i don’t remember my parents having to exercise a lot of discipline either. As for television, we watched what my father wanted to watch. No negotiations.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Master of Something Yet

    The interesting thing is that there is a theory that children recognise love in different ways. So some children will feel loved by being hugged and kissed, some by being told they are wonderful, some by the things they are given, etc. So in whatever mode of parenting you take, some children will say they were loved and some perhaps not. Or you try as a parent to provide a mix of them all so everyone gets a guernsey.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply
    1. bkpyett Post author

      I find this an interesting thought H. Particularly for the children who have very little time with their parents, and are sometimes the ones given things instead of parent’s time. I don’t think objects can ever take the place of time with the parents…. I do like your thought of a mix of these methods providing a balance. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
      1. Master of Something Yet

        I can actually see it in my own children. They all respond differently. The youngest is most definitely a “Physical Touch” kind of child. Whenever I held him when he was little, he would pinch the skin on the back of my hand and he’s much more of a cuddler than the other two.
        The theory also goes that the way children interpret love, if the negative of that style is given, they will feel it more keenly. So a child who responds to words will be hurt more severely by harsh ones than a child who responds to quality time. The number of times I had to explain to my youngest’s two older brothers that he wasn’t over-reacting whenever they hit him….. [sigh]

        Liked by 2 people

      2. bkpyett Post author

        I can see it with the two grandchildren that stay with us from time to time. The younger is the one that loves physical contact. He’ll wrestle with his brother just to have that contact. Whereas the older is more in his head, a voracious reader. It’s fascinating to see in families how individual each child can be. I think food choices can be a way of demanding this difference too. So when we’re out and we decide they can share a milkshake, as they are huge, they have to negotiate with each other to decide on one flavour. Fascinating process!

        Like

  7. gerard oosterman

    My parents were very loving and we all knew this even though it wasn’t often expressed in hugs or words. There is a lot made of hugging ,kisses and sayings of I ‘love you’ but am not sure how deep and genuine that always is. The rate of divorce and domestic violence tells a story as well. Love is more in the action and doing than hugs and giving nice words.
    In any case, telling children that they are loved and that they are special is a good thing, especially when families are small and there is perhaps more time to give them.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. bkpyett Post author

      Just discovered this and another comment in my Pending basket! What are you doing there… so am not sure in what context the comment was made, but as always I appreciate your sweet thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  8. Martha Kennedy

    My parents were the same, but my dad, especially, showed enthusiasm for what I did. My Aunt Martha, whom I loved so very, very much, one day told me she loved me. It meant so much and sometimes I just remember that when things aren’t going so well and I feel daunted. I think it meant more to me because it was so rare that when it emerged it came from some deep place where it could not be held inside any more. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s