“Children are gifts. They are not ours for the breaking. They are ours for the making.” Dan Pearce
Praise is an important aspect of interpersonal communication with young children, aimed to motivate achievement and expected behaviour. With regard to young children the praise from adults provides a basic knowledge, on which basis children will learn and understand the social consequences of one’s actions, in a meaningful manner. Praise of young children, the expressions of the adult’s pleasure as well as the children’s pleasure in the mastery of skills, also provides a framework in which children move from intrinsic pleasure in mastery to socially derived, aimed pride.
“Sweet words are like honey, a little may refresh, but too much gluts the stomach.” Anne Bradstreet
Such pride eliciting situations must be pleasurable events, but equally they also, in some measure, need to be challenging, as once a skill is mastered and no longer offers a challenge, it loses its ability to evoke pride. The spontaneous verbalisations of happiness, pride of adults, who tend to give praise for the higher or highest performance levels of the young child, support children in learning standards of performance which warrant the expression of pride later in life.
Baking is the perfect activity to apply this teaching method. It educates about life within many areas of the curriculum, it offers opportunities to succeed on various levels and it is perfectly suited for a positive social environment. Let alone the fact, that baking feeds the entire society of family and friends…
“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” H.A. Ironside
350 g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
125 g butter
175 g brown sugar
4 tbsp honey
“Stop giving meaningless praise and start giving meaningful action.” Steve Maraboli
Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and pour into a bowl. Add the butter and blend until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar. Lightly beat the egg and honey together, add to the mixture and stir until it clumps together. Tip the dough out, knead briefly until smooth, wrap in clingfim and leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line the baking trays with greaseproof paper. Roll the dough out to a 0.5 cm thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using cutters, cut out the shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown. Leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. When cooled decorate with the writing thick icing. (If making a gingerbread house, use royal icing or caramel instead, and make sue the side are stuck sturdy, before placing on the roof).
“I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am to myself.” Michel de Montaigne