The teachers at my daughter's preschool seem to be in competition with one another over who can give the most compliments about clothes, shoes, and hair, what should I do?


A similar game of one-upmanship broke out among the teachers at my younger son's preschool. It started with one educator's over-the-top praise and quickly spread throughout the building. Unfortunately, it was well-received by parents and so it was allowed to continue. Before I knew it, moms were dressing their daughters in elaborate clothes, fixing their hair in fancy styles, and having them come to class in fashionable (but highly unsuitable) shoes. Our preschool turned into a fashion show!

Sadly, the director was too burned out with her job to put a stop to it. If a parent had expressed disappointment in this behavior, though, she certainly would have taken action. She just needed someone to speak up with their concerns.

While it would be easier for you to say nothing, I hope after reading my article you understand how detrimental this over-the-top praise can be. I hope that you now appreciate how it creates “praise junkies” and promotes a sexist atmosphere. With this in mind, I'd speak to the director and share your worries.

Hopefully, the director will address the matter at a staff meeting. Some of the teachers are probably clueless about the research that shows too much praise can be detrimental. They incorrectly believe that more is always better.

By speaking up, you can bring about positive change. With any luck, the director will give a presentation to the teachers about constructive praise: how it should focus on what a child is doing and not what they're wearing, how it should be specific, how it should be observational and not judgmental, and so on.

I admire you for perceiving this as a problem and wanting to do something about it. I hope a change is made!

Updated on December 22, 2019

Original Article:

How to Pick a Preschool for Your Daughter That Isn't Sexist
By McKenna Meyers

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