Jennifer Pearce

Hi there! My name is Jennifer and I am one of the newest members to MomTalk and JustKiddin'. I am a 40-year-old mother who works outside the home. I live with my husband of eleven years and our two young daughters. After being a stay-at-home-mother for six years, I re-entered the workforce when my husband was briefly unemployed. When he returned to work, I chose to keep working due to economics and the age of my daughters at the time. I now work as the advertising manager of a community newspaper and appreciate how working has gotten me much more involved in my community. However, I often miss the opportunity to spend more time with my daughters, or to volunteer more time with their school and activities. My older daughter is a 10-year-old fourth grader, and my younger daughter is a 6-year-old kindergartener. Their many activities and my husband’s complicated work schedule make scheduling our number one family challenge. He works a rotating shift in a retail store that includes many nights and weekends. We struggle to preserve our time together as a family and make the most of it, while still finding time to accomplish our individual goals and pursue our favorite interests. My interests include reading, writing and photography. I love taking family photos and completed a Project 365 in 2010, taking a photo a day for the year. It was a wonderful experience to document our life for a year and appreciate all the little pieces of it. I am currently working to put the 365 pictures into a scrapbook…if I can just find the time. I look forward to sharing our journey with you here on JustKiddin'!


Balancing Praise and Criticism

I have seen a lot in the news over the past few years about parents creating a generation of adults who think everything they do is perfect. They cannot take criticism after years of a trophy for just showing up and being told how they are the best at everything. These adults quit jobs when they feel insulted by a poor work review or they feel entitled to more because they feel superior. I want to make sure Jake and Sam do not turn out like that.

I wonder if they are talking about how to improve their basketball game :)

There has to be a balance between praise and  criticism. As the boys have gotten older I have found that this is harder to do, but it needs to be done. When they were 3 years old and showed me a finger painting I praised how great it was and told them I loved it. When they threw the ball in a curvy spiral that only went 2 feet I said it was a great throw. At that young age……it is pretty hard to criticize. Now that they are older, I find myself doing a little more to help them understand that they do need to work at things to get better.

After each basketball game I praise the boys for hard work and giving in 100%. I try to point out one or two plays that were positive and let them know what they did right. I find myself consciously trying to balance that with 1-2 areas where they can work to improve. If Jake got a key rebound I praise it and then tell him how he could get more of them. If Sam took a good shot I applaud that effort and then tell him how on another play he needed to move to get open. I don’t know the exact age or day when I felt it was OK to start doing this, but I do know it is important.

To me, Jake and Sam will always be perfect..I am their mom. Even so, they will need to prove themselves at school, sports and work. I want them to have the tools to know how to do that and how to learn from mistakes.  I hope we are all on the right track.

How do you balance praise with criticism at this age?

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