OMATAS Blog

Episode 5 – Accepting Praise – The Lauren Edmunds Podcast

“And what I want to teach kids every time I have an opportunity, when they get given feedback where that is good, a compliment that says, we are really proud of you, you’re really good at this. When that happens, I want to teach children to grab it with mentally, metaphorically, with both hands and to pull it into themselves, to lap it up and to go…”

Podcast Transcript

Hi, I’m Lauren Edmunds, and this is the Lauren Edmunds podcast. I’m talking all things education and parenting for children in the primary school years, but specifically for remedial and special needs children. I hope to give you my insights that I’ve gained over the last 12 years of in-field research owning a special needs school in Johannesburg, as well as the academic research I’ve been doing for decades. I hope you enjoy it

Today at school, two of our boys, they’re in grade three, four, they had just finished doing their judo class. We run judo classes every Tuesday morning at the moment. And their sensei walked past and I was standing right there and he looked at me and he looked at them and he said, these two boys, I am so proud of them. They are doing so exceptionally well. They are quite remarkable. And both of the boys went, yeah, yeah, thank you. Because they were busy.

And I thought there’s an opportunity to teach children how to take a compliment they’re being given and to really absorb it into themselves. Because when someone gives you the compliment of you’re really good, the saying of thank you to that person can almost be left at this external interaction where somebody says you’re really good and you sort of pass back a thank you and you move on too quickly.

And what I want to teach kids every time I have an opportunity, when they get given feedback where that is good, a compliment that says, we are really proud of you, you’re really good at this. When that happens, I want to teach children to grab it with mentally, metaphorically, with both hands and to pull it into themselves, to lap it up and to go…

I’ve just been told that I’m really good. What does that mean for me? I’m really good at this. And to internalize that as their own skill, their own capability, their own capacity, their own success, and to allow that compliment not to stay outside of them, and not to brush it back with a simple thank you, but to say thank you and pull it in towards them so that it becomes part of who they are.

It adds a drop of water into the bucket of positivity. So today I had the opportunity to get these kids to stop just for a moment and say, wait a second, listen to what your sensei is saying, really think about it. And he said it again, I’m really proud of these boys, they’re really phenomenal, they’re putting in the effort and they’re doing very well. And to have these boys take that moment and go, hmm, this is me, I’m being recognized, not a star on the wall.

But I’m being told a bit about who I am. An opinion has been given to me from someone who matters in the sport. And I can lap that up and pull it in towards me, and I can say thank you, and I can take it and keep it. I don’t have to bat it away. And when we teach children and give them this opportunity to do that with positive feedback, their buckets of positivity fill up and tend to stay filled up.

And when they get a negative feedback, is they handle that in a different way. We can get into that in another podcast. But for now, I wanna talk about when your children get given a compliment, teach them to stop, really listen to it, really take it in, own that compliment. It is theirs, it has been given to them, it is now theirs, and they can carry that forward with them. And this is a beautiful approach and skill to have for the rest of your life.

Every time you get given some sort of compliment, some sort of praise, some sort of acknowledgement, is to not just say thank you and bat it away, but to pull it in because it’s just an acknowledgement of who you already are. It’s a beautiful way to process positive feedback.

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