postive or negative teaching?

you know one of the key difference i find between chinese and american culture is the way you are taught. i didn’t get used to the “over” positive teaching in america the first time i was in a summer school. but now i’m of course adopted to it. and finding myself giving many more positive comments than negative. maybe you don’t know that i mean by negative teaching, let me explain myself.

when i was in china, it was SO RARE to hear a “nice job” from a teacher or a parent. it’s not just mine. everyone’s parents do the same. otherwise they are considered spoiling their children. the thing is you actually DO FEEL PROUD when you do a good job and hear that rare compliment. everyone’s under a relatively equal standard as far as i know. so getting compliment makes you shine among other children.

in america, it’s totally different. i remember when i first came here, i went to an English class in the summer. the class was created for foreign children who have difficulties with english. while there, i was astonished how often i hear “good job” “great” “wonderful” kind of statements from the teachers. then i realized they did the same to other children even if i felt i was doing better than them. for a little while, i felt hurt. i know it’s hard for you native americans to imagine that how i could feel hurt hearing compliments. those compliments just didn’t distinguish my accomplishment from others. i really wondered where exactly i stood in the class. was i really good or was i too pathetic so that the teachers had to use compliment to make me feel better? it was very strange. it took a long time for me to realize that the compliment were directed more toward an individual accomplishment than a comparative accomplishment with peers.

this makes me wonder about those aisan families in AA. It sounded like most of the families still carry out the negative teaching culture. many members complaint of never hearing compliments from their parents. i can totally identify with them.

i think today that if i ever become a parent, i will keep a good balance between positive and negative teaching. i feel too much positive teaching makes compliment meaningless and of course too much negative teaching hurts a child’s feeling even more. what would you do if you become a parent?

8 thoughts on “postive or negative teaching?

  1. Same here. Though I am used to it in the American school system since I have been here for 15 years. [teachers tell you anything to make you feel good, at least in VA] My parents on the other hand are completely different. If you did nothing to recieve such a compliment, then you will never hear it. They want things perfect, and exactly how they see fit.

  2. i hear you dodo πŸ™‚

    and ahhh, if “I’M” ever going to be a parent (har har har….)… i’ll prb do the same as you, well, i can picture myself spoling my child. I just hope i never treat him/her like i was treated. I want to reconize ever change of a good effort, even if a not so good result. Mainly because i feel that the child can go one way or another with a negative comment… either don’t try again, or try even harder.

    So i really don’t know what i’ll really do. I just would want my child to feel happy once they’ve done some they’ve worked hard at. Of course i would try not to lie to my child about their abilities, or make this achievments seem meaningless with good comments all the time.

    But i know what you mean about the positive teaching thing…. a little while ago my sister got home a newsletter from school, one of the pages a list of things to say to a child after they’ve done something good to make them feel good. A whole list of good jobs, wonderful, etc, etc. Hahah..

    so i don’t know. But it’s interesting to study the two differences. And their possible results, effects, and actual numbres when it comes to marks, and grades. *shrug* πŸ™‚

  3. Meaningless comments don’t exactly spoil you, but they can make you stuck up. Negative comments are good in a sense that they spur you to do better.

    I grow up in Singapore, and they mix the two cultures together. It’s very disgusting to me when you hear someone complimenting your friend, when you have done better than her.

    Of course, too much negative comments can also spoil a child’s pride. So I guess it’s a good thing to have a good mixture of positive and negative comments

  4. I know what you meant. It would be really weird if I get too much compliments from my mom or dad. I mean, I can get straight A’s for my exam and they would just say, ‘you get 8 A’s? How many people get 8 A’s also?? 11?? So many??’
    Makes you feel, insignificant. Anyway, Since I’m from a multiracial country where the cultures have blended very well aming one another, it doesn’t happen that obviously. Teachers nowadays are more encouraging towards the students because this can help motivate them to work harder.

  5. i don’t have children, but i have raised my siblings as my own. i think too many compliments make someone stuck up. i did not want my siblings to be that way, so whenever they did good, i would give them a good natured ribbing. for example:
    “i had the best grade on the test,” and i would say “great, that shows that you’re at least smarter than 25 other people on this planet. good for you.” and they would look at me and smile. once, while in line in the supermarket i said “i keep telling you, you’re not smart. it’s the rest of the world that’s stupid. you’re just average.” and the people in line laughed, along with my brothers, they’re used to my responses.
    i WILL give compliments on extraordinary behavior. for instance, telling on someone who was doing drugs in the bathroom. this was done even though my brother was quite certain he would probably get beat up because of it. THAT merited praise.

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