I’ve always been leaning toward the side of apathetic parenting. This trend of uber positive, gushing, praising parenting techniques that have crept over from the US quite frankly make my skin crawl. I’m much more a fan of a more British way, a pat on the back when it’s due and a firm (metaphorical) hand when it’s necessary.
I’m not the one who runs frantically over to their child when they fall down in the park with a packet of plasters and tube of antiseptic cream. In fact I often get slightly irritated when other parents do this for me fussing and flapping around them making them much more aware that they are (slightly) hurt. I obviously smile politely at the panic stricken women and swiftly remove said injured child from the scene muttering something about them being so clumsy blah blah blah. On these occasions the forced tears always last a little bit longer than when they are given time to access their own injuries. Usually the slide wins over sitting out with me.
However. Since researching and researching about autism and all the many various techniques that can be used to used to pierce my child’s bubble and connect with them it seems praise is really rather important. Not just any praise, big dramatic, attention grabbing praise. In the space of a year I have literally turned into someone who will cheer ‘hooray’ with arms in the air (in public I might add) if my daughter does a particular task on demand. What have I become? Unfortunately I’ve become the exact type of parent my child needs as she obviously adores praise and it allows her to connect.
However! I am not that woman (annoying mummy) who spends her days shrieking “Well done walking five steps!” “Wow you’re so clever breathing and walking at the same time.” Ok so that was a little extreme but I’ve heard similar and I can’t help the fact that it really bugs me, especially with mainstream children who gather in all the praise with a smug look on their face.
Although enjoy watching these same parents later trying to follow through with time out techniques when their children with now overinflated egos clash with one another to be the best.
My girl doesn’t care about being the best, the fastest, the centre of attention because she has autism. Your child however….
Ps. Annoying Mummy is the alias of one particular mum I know but there are others out there just like her, I’m sure of it…
Pps. I fully expect her to refer to me as Rude Mummy who never speaks to me…I’m ok with that.