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?