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Talk about it. "That's great! Was it hard?"

This is great advice, but I'm not sure it hits the mark I'm trying to hit - I do already talk to my little guy about what things were hard vs. easy, and how much I admire his efforts, but there's a flow to interactions, especially with a small child - I'm looking for something I can use for a shorthand of this kind of conversation, because he totally loses interest if I just sit there and jabber for too long. If I want to impart any actual meaning, I have to be concise (though teaching him to pay attention longer is certainly also on the agenda- but again, can't try to do everything, every time, often there's just a brief moment, and I want to offer praise, it seems right logically to offer praise, it even FEELS right, but- am I then bound to have a whole conversation at that moment, or is there shorthand for the times when for his reasons or my own, I absolutely cannot?

I hear you, and my thought was to simply put the ball in their court. Perhaps they're too young to go beyond yes or no, I have no experience in parenting, but I thought it could signal interest in their experience and success to prepare for the time when they do respond with "yes! $reason..." If my parents had ever left the door open for me to say "that sucked!" things may have been different, but I'm sure as a parent you're full-up with advice based on psychological projection.

In light of all this, though, how about "Great, you're getting better!" It acknowleges the accomplishment, marks them as improving over the past, and implies there's more to do? Again, projection. :)

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