Pride in Achievement
A while ago I was surreptitiously observing a three-year-old boy intently pursuing an art project at the little table in his room. Suddenly he sat up, smiled broadly, and exclaimed, “I’m doing a good job!” He then eagerly and enthusiastically resumed his activity.
At first glance, one might think he was “bragging.” But there was no one else in the room and he had no idea anyone was watching. What he actually was doing was exhibiting what developmental psychologists call “healthy pride in achievement.” And this sort of internal awareness of and appreciation for proficiency and accomplishment is a key characteristic of children who are making optimal progress.
Where does it come from? The answer is simple. During the previous months and years when this child struggled to overcome obstacles and conquer challenges, he witnessed the joy, excitement, and applause demonstrated by his mother and father when he ultimately achieved his goals. And all of that eventually and inevitably was transformed from an “outside himself” experience to an “inside himself” force.
That is why parent participation is such an important part of Romp n’ Roll classes for infants and toddlers. Mothers and fathers may not be aware of it, but as they watch what their little ones do, they are not merely supplying additional supervision. They are providing something extraordinarily special that will inspire their offspring to do even more – and do it well – even when they’re not around.
Michael K. Meyerhoff, Ed.D. (a.k.a. “Dr. Mike”) is a member of the management team at Romp n’ Roll. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University, he earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in human development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he also held a position as a researcher with the Harvard Preschool Project. He may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.