10 Compliments Your Kids Need to Hear

list of compliments

How do you feel when someone compliments your shoes, your cooking, or a job well done? It’s a good feeling. But how do you feel when someone you really care about compliments you on something? That’s a great feeling. So imagine the power of the compliments for kids we’re going to share with you today. A child who feels valued and accepted by his mother can change the world. A child who feels like her mother thinks she’s wonderful can better weather the challenges life sends her way.

Research shows that the most motivating compliments for children are those that praise hard work, the process they use to reach goals, and traits like perseverance and dedication. But, be sure to give other compliments too — how beautiful and handsome they are (all children are beautiful or handsome in their mother’s eyes!), how strong and kind they are (children will likely live up to what they feel we believe them to be), and how amazing they are, in general (every child is amazing). We made it easy with this list of compliments to use. Here are 10 compliments your kids need to hear.

1. Compliment their character.

We live in a world where integrity is neither consistently taught nor widely-expected. When our children demonstrate honesty, kindness, trustworthiness, and reliability, that’s a great time to take them aside and offer a sincere compliment.

2. Compliment obedience and respect.

It’s too easy to fall into patterns of disapproval, where the only time we notice is when kids do wrong. Rather than waiting for disobedience or disrespect (then coming down like a ton of bricks), try noticing obedience and respect: “I don’t always remember to tell you, but you are an awesome young man, and I appreciate the way you treat people.”

3. Compliment them for simply being part of the family.

“Every time I see you, I’m thankful that I’m your Mom.” Kids need to understand that they are valued simply because they are.

4. Compliment contributions to the family.

“Clearing the table (sweeping the porch, putting out the trash) makes a real difference. I appreciate your contribution.” Kids need to understand that what they do makes a difference, that the adults notice, and that pitching in is a good part of family life.

5. Compliment the quality of their work.

“This is one clean porch, mister!” “You mowed the lawn right up to the edge. Way to go! I’m so glad you take this job so seriously, it shows.” Doing a job at a high standard is always worth noting.

6. Compliment the effort, even when the result is not the best

“Your willingness to help makes me happy! Now, we need to take a look at how you can get the trash to the curb without leaving a trail!” Compliments can be an important part of our role as teachers.

7. Compliment when they achieve something new

“Wow! That’s a huge leap forward for you there in math, pal.” “Awesome! I’m not at all surprised after you worked so hard.” A well-placed compliment can keep a positive ball rolling.

8. Compliment their sense of style, even if we don’t exactly share their taste

We don’t want to force our kids into being clones of us. “When it comes to putting together an outfit, you certainly have some flair!” “I can tell that you put a lot of thought into the way you look.” “I’ve never seen a table set quite like that before – you have an amazing imagination!” It’s not useful to limit compliments to the narrow range of our own taste.

9. Compliment steps toward a long-term goal

“Son, the improvement you’re showing is commendable. Thanks for trying.” Waiting for perfection before we’re willing to dish out a compliment is inefficient, may dampen enthusiasm, and does little to help the process of growth.

10. Compliment their friends

But only do this when you can do it honestly! “Your friends are the greatest!” “That Jess is such a good kid.” “You know, it gives me a lot of confidence to know you use common sense in choosing your friends.”

Here are 5 Things to Say to Your Kids Every Day.


Tell Us! How do you normally compliment your kids?


  • drrichardnorris

    11. Compliment their faith as it grows. We likely know of kids who have strayed. You are a real prayer warrior. I love how you took the initiative to help put await the song books. etc.

    • Lisa

      @ drrichnorris I love your idea to complement their faith! I believe this is almost the most important one!!!!!! Thank you for your great ideas to share with practically new parents!

      • drrichardnorris

        Thank you Lisa. Being a parent is a big responsibility and blessing. Every day I pray that my wife and I will serve our kids better.

        • Aardvark

          Why do you have to pray for that? Can’t you just serve your kids to the best of your ability every day?

          • Zummy

            lol, religion is so funny.

          • Jaqui De Kock

            Do you have kids? Do you serve God? If you haven’t tried it then you won’t know why.

    • zobs

      no, 10

    • Anna

      It’s not their faith you are complimenting. It’s yours and your ability to influence them and what you think they should believe. Let them stray and compliment them on looking to find their own path. If they come back, it means it is right also for them, not just for you.

      • jules

        You sound bitter. It is their faith that we compliment. You obviously were not taught how to cultivate and nurture faith. Don’t knock other people’s parenting efforts to make yourself feel better.

        • Anna

          “Don’t knock other people’s parenting efforts to make yourself feel better.”
          Wise words for you to live by also.

          • jules

            Thanks! I’ll be sure to remember that while I compliment my children’s faith.

          • Kelsey

            It takes 2 people to argue. . . And a third one to say stop arguing you big dummies! Haha. Both of you have a point but you don’t have to point out the flaws in someone else’s point in order to get your point across. 10 points for Griffindor! I win 🙂 no really. Stop arguing over this and then I will compliment you on how much of an adult you are.

      • Ruth

        Wow, we are their parents, of course influence their belief. “Let them stray”, are you serious? I have a great faith in God and it is the foundation of my marriage and family was built on. I want to children to do the same.

        • Truth

          Your marriage was built on primal mutual attraction, faith had nothing to do with it.

      • nats

        Oh Anna I could not agree with you more!

    • Ruth

      Yes, compliment their faith. I live by faith.

    • JimmyNice

      This is a great article, but I’m glad it didn’t try to add religious fairy tales to the mix.

      I’d rather not indoctrinate my kids with Santa for adults just because it was pushed on me. People need to take a hard look at the only reason they have their “faith” is solely based on the region of the world you were born in and what your parent believed. Just think about how people in your religious circle are treated if they dare to disagree with your cults.. sorry religions… doctrine.

      The validity of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Shintoism, Hinduism are no different than Norse, Greek, Celtic, Mayan or Egyptian that are not defunct. They all had the same level of history and literature behind them. They all had belief systems that lasted for thousands of years and were all based on humans trying to explain a natural world around them they could not understand.

      Well we understand more and more of our world and universe everyday. Poking more and more holes in what those religious texts tell us. We know the earth revolves around the sun. We know the earth isn’t 6,000 years old. We know that animals didn’t just appear in their present state, but evolved over millions of years.

      Which is why so many religions fear science because it confirms the stories in their teachings are wrong. Even religions that claim to embrace science such as Islam, do it with the caveat, “so long as it doesn’t contradict our holy book” … and they can’t have a supposedly infallible holy text be wrong.

      But those texts, like all the hundreds of religions before them, were created by and written down by humans. Humans are infallible and bigoted and biased. Humans created all religions to control those weaker around them (making children and women property) and simply because we don’t want to face the fact that we die.

      We are terrified of death. Face the fact that non existence after we die is no different then the non existence before we were born. Live life for the incredible experience it is, not for the hopes of getting some pat on the head from a non-existent, misogynistic, space fairy.

      Teach your kids they can do anything. Teach them to question. Show them right from wrong. I won’t let anyone tell my daughters that they can’t teach or hold authority over a man or that they are property to be sold to a man to do as he wishes. Keep your so called faith to yourself.

      • ceh25

        It hurts my heart to read things like this. You just wrote a 2 page comment on not pushing your beliefs on others? You seem to feel pretty passionately about something that you claim doesn’t exist. I wish you knew God as I do and could feel the peace and joy that He gives, even when your world is crumbling. I wish those who are so vehemently against it would just give it a try and see if it changes your life. If God’s not real then what do you really have to lose?

        • JimmyNice

          My world isn’t crumbling. It’s great. I get passionate when people try to push their fairytales on my kids or in their schools.

          You are quoting “Pascal’s wager” … By that logic you should also be worshipping Vishnu just to keep your bases covered. you know… because what if the Hindu’s are right and you’re wrong.

          I’m not making any kind of claim. Religion has made the claim “My particular flavor of god exists!” and the burden of proof is always on the claimant. If I say I have a dancing miniature bear in a box on my lap, I have to prove that claim. You don’t have to take it on faith.

          I don’t KNOW that some sort of all knowing all powerful being doesn’t exist… just like I don’t know if there is a bathtub orbiting Jupiter. I do know that I haven’t seen ANY evidence a deity of any kind. There is a million dollar prize that’s been sitting waiting for decades for anyone who can show proof. It still lies unclaimed.

          All current religions have is the same thing all the failed religions had. Tomes written centuries or millennia before, by men trying to keep their slaves, women and children in line.

          • Jaqui De Kock

            Thank God I serve a God who is as real as you and me. God does not have to prove Himself to you or me. He is the creator of all things and one day every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
            God is not a religion, He is a person. A Person who has changed my life, a Person whom I talk to every day and I hear His voice. I see His hand in my life, in my family, in my business.
            He loves you so much, He even sent His son to die for us. And if you were the only person on earth, He would send Jesus just for you to die so that you can inherit eternal life.
            I am not afraid to die, I know that this life is just rehearsal. The best is yet to come.
            You have the choice between life and death….choose life. I am quoting the Word of God.

          • Cheryl Brand

            Your god killed his own son because he couldn’t forgive 2 people for giving into a temptation that he put there .How mean and vindictive is that . He is all powerful and all forgiving. I think not . The type of person he is ( if real ) would not inspire my love and devotion . Adolf Hitler killed less people and he is scorned as the biggest evil that ever existed . Your God killed everyone but a favoured few , think about the attributes of fictional characters you choose to adore and at least love kind caring ones – not narcissistic ones who demand all adore him or burn in hell for all eternity.

          • Jaqui De Kock

            Hahahahaha, no really, at least know the facts before you make snap judgements. I can’t even argue with you.
            The Word says “my people perish due to a lack of knowledge”. So true.
            Just to correct you on one thing so you can stop ever speaking such lies, God did not kill Jesus. Jesus offered to come to earth. He specifically said “send Me”. He was prepared to die, to be the perfect and last ever sacrifice, to die for our sins so we did not have to go to hell.
            Maybe if you understood you would love Him like He loves you.
            Yes, He is all loving and all forgiving. He loves you in spite of what you say.
            The devil is a liar and so many believe his lies.

          • Cheryl Brand

            This does not dispute the theology that you believe .Which is someone had to die so an all powerful God could forgive all of humanity for the perceived sins of 2 people . Your all powerful god could just have forgiven them – or not put the temptation there in the first place. If a parent puts a cake in front of a 2 year old and tells the child not to eat it , the fault lies with the parent when the cake gets eaten . Not the children of the child

          • Jaqui De Kock

            Hey Cheryl. I can understand how you are trying to reason this in human terms. But there is so much detail that you are missing. You can’t look at a picture, take one or two sentences and think you have it all figured out. I challenge you to go read what actually happened. God created man for His pleasure and He walked with man as a friend. Man chose (God gives us free choice always) to sin, God was not happy as a parent would not be, but He always gave man a way out. If you knew the God I serve you would understand that He is a God of rules, a God who requires your all but will give you love and favour unconditionally if you dedicate your heart to Him.
            There is a history of thousand of years in the Bible of what man did, always straying away, God, like a loving Father, always gently guided them back. I can’t tell you everything in such a short spam of time. You need to read it all.
            God was never the bad guy. In His infinite love, He sent Jesus to sacrifice once and for all, and if you believe in Him and love Him. Jesus erases everything you ever did and gives you eternal life and all you have to do is believe in Him. People look at the crucifixion (which was carried out by sinful man and their choices once again) and they get stuck there, but it happened for a reason, so that you and your children could inherit eternal life. I am not sad that Jesus died because He lives and I will spend eternity with Him. This life is only a rehearsal. Your eternity depends on the choices you make. Jesus said I give you the choice between life and death….choose life. It is also your choise. But I feel I need to tell you that Jesus loves you so much, He knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb, He knows all your hurts, all your concerns and He is always waiting to hear from you. If you were the only person on earth He would die just for you.
            I don’t want to argue about this because that is not who God is, God is loving and kind and gentle. Jesus’ last words before He was taken to Heaven was that we loved as He loves us.

          • iowagirl

            This brings up valid points that I strive to do for our kiddos on a daily basis. Why does everyone always have to be negative or look into someone elses replies.


            1. Compliment your children!!!! We all have our own ways to incorporate this into our lives. These are ment to be positive and non- judgemental. We all want to be the best parent we can be so be POSITIVE AND CUT OUT THE NEGATIVITY!

          • Zummy

            Lol, religion is funny. Funny in a genocidal way.

          • Cheryl Brand

            I reason this in human terms because …. I AM HUMAN with the power to reason and decide for myself what I believe. I don’t care what you believe – they are your beliefs

          • wetrose

            So tell me again why god lets children get so abused they die from it? Tell me why god allows people to die of starvation but answers prayer for a specific team to win a football game? Come on now. You delusional.

          • Jaqui De Kock

            Excuse me?? Who ever said that it was God? YOU please tell me why is it that people want nothing to do with God but when they get sick, heart gets broken, someone dies or a child gets abused it’s God??????? Can’t you even see how sick thát is? This is a sinful world where the devil comes to steal kill and destroy, he is the father of all lies and unfortunately people like you listen to him. Don’t you dare blame God…you don’t even bother know Him. You make me sick. You have free will don’t you, of course you do, and with your free will you choose to deny God (funny how you can blame someone whom you don’t even believe exists), so that guy who hurt the child, he also had free will to do what he did.
            Please stop messaging me I don’t argue with fools.

          • Jaqui De Kock

            Ps: the way you and so many other argue MY God shows that you believe He exists. You just don’t like what you “think” He did. But you just don’t know the facts. If you understand what He did for YOU you would change your thoughts. Stop listening to what others say and make informed decisions.

          • Juliekha Fataar

            No Our God, put his son on earth to show us that we can live according to his commandments. He also showed us how much he loved us by sacrificing his own son but in doing this, Jesus defeated death and evil and purchased for us everlasting life.

          • Love

            Amen! Well said.

          • steve

            I feel sorry for people like you. You have no idea what life is really about or how to live life to the fullest. Religion is the stain on the undergarment of the universe. God does not have any place in the year 2015!

          • Your comment has been deleted because it violates our comment policy – http://imom.com/pages/imom.com-comment-policy/.

          • Zummy

            Woooo!!! Lol, you have a way with words.

          • Brucebu

            So you say that you don’t believe in an all powerful being because you don’t see evidence that He exists? Hhhmmm…so it’s just like saying…I can’t physically see your brain..therefore you have none (?)

          • JimmyNice

            You can’t tell me that’s your argument. I can get an MRI and see my brain. We have studied the human brain. We know how light travels. How gravity works and can bend light. Science has found all these things. It is the reason you have the car you drive, it is reflected in the jobs we do, in healthcare and in saving the lives of children daily. Always striving to learn more. Meanwhile religion has no way of measuring. No way of validation. No way to prove. Just believe what your parents believe without question. The reason religion is dying around the world in increasing numbers is because of 1 thing. Education! The days of keeping your kids in the dark and forcing them into your limited world view, are over. They have the history of mankind and the information of the world at their fingertips. They can see there are as many ancient texts written about Thor or Zeus or Horus as there are about Yahweh (yeah that’s the name of the supposed christian god). So if we know 3 out of 4 are absolutely myths and legends… what makes the last one any different. Then they go exactly… they are all the same thing. Made up by Man.

            Here’s the easiest test you can apply to the situation to understand validity of religion. If all mankind knowledge was suddenly wiped out and we had to start learning all over again from scratch, what would happen. The things we created we would create new versions of. New languages, new names for things, new explanations for things we did not understand. But the things we know are true would all still exist and we would find them again. We would find that the earth goes around the sun. We would learn again that light bends with gravity. We would again see the elements of distant stars with prismatic light in astrophysics. We would rediscover photosynthesis. We may give all these things new names… but the processes and they way they work would all be the same. What would happen to your religion? Would it still exist? No, much like the English language, we would make up something new, to explain the things we don’t understand… until the day came that we understood enough to realize, we don’t have to make up a mythical dude in a robe in the sky pushing all the buttons.. we don’t need to make up an afterlife just because we are afraid of death. Thankfully… in this go round… more and more people are waking up to this fact, and unlike in centuries past, you just can’t call us witches and haul us out to the stake to burn those who don’t fall for your 2,000 stories made up by a bunch of dudes in the bronze age .

      • Anna Liu

        I believe in St. Nicholas, because of his kindness to the poor …but not in Santa today… too much business for Christmas

      • Brad

        yeah for real. I’m not to push my opinions on my kids but it’s perfectly ok for some jackass to write a novel on how dumb it is to have beliefs. Pretty sure you are as bad as what you stand for. Get a life. Anyone who read that diatribe in its entirety is now dumber for it. Go fornicate yourself with a rusty spike

      • Taz

        Hey jimmy nice,although i totally agree with u abt other religions…. I just have to say that God saw this all and so the last of His Prophet Mohommad SAW…. Was sent with The Holy Quraan and God himself tookup the responsibility of making sure no one ever changes a single letter of it! The miricle of Quraan is that it rhymes and entire book gets preserved in the hearts of those who try to learn it. And so 1400 yrs later it still holds its original script and constantly amazes science and proves it wrong with time.

        Anyways inspite of this Satan does not let us be…. He divides and misguides us on the basis of translating and understanding the very original script!

        The point is whenever a person tries to b close to God ,Satan will b there to somehow misguide Him! Thats satans promise!

        Because only if we put some kind of God in the child only then will he grow up to find his own path through questons or pondering etc

        But if we dont tell Him abt God and fearing Him and trusting and relying upon Him and being thankful etc….. He will become hopeless and lonely/depressed at times of tragedy and an animal in other eras of life…. Having no kind of accountability what so ever.

        Hope u get my point of view too.

        • JimmyNice

          That’s hilarious… “all the other religions are crazy but MINE makes sense”. Islam is just as laden with contradictions, fallacies and misogynistic rhetoric as most religions. Sure you accept Science… to a point “As long as it doesn’t directly contradict our holy text” . I don’t prescribe to any religion, but if you want a religion that actually just readily accepts all things as they truly are… try Buddhism… I want to think you are serious and just pushing the typical “try and swing people to my religion” .. “thing” … but you talk like a devout Muslim… and miss spell both Mohammed and the Quran… you’ve been entertaining to say the least.

          • Liezel

            You’re all right. And I have to agree. I also have a problem with religion. Rituals created by people, each convinced that theirs is correct. Which is why I’m not a “Christian” in the religious sense of the word. I hardly know what our practices are. But I would like to know why, if there is no God, were we born with the curiosity and longing for a relationship with a Higher Being. It can’t be about survival only? We would then be no different from animals.

            I will not convince anyone to believe if they don’t want to. Its not my job, not my place. I can only state with absolute certainty that nothing in my life just “happened” by coincidence. That I live by faith, and not by religion. And that I’ve been proven wrong time and time again whenever I thought I could do everything by myself, and things would coincidentally fall into place as soon as I give up and give over to Him.

            If its a false sense of Hope or security, then so be it. But I will be certain to give my kids something to hold on to when they see no reason to see things through, to give it one last go. It remains their decision whether to accept it or not. But I hope that they never have to feel like they were nothing before and will be nothing again, with no reason to exist, and no-one to hold on to when human beings fail you.

          • Jaqui De Kock

            You’re on the right path Liezel. I pray Jesus reveal His love to you in a supernatural way. My faith is no religion, Jesus came so we could break with religion and from living under the law. And as for your question about our always seeking a relationship with a higher being…God created each and every one of us with a “God-hole” if I can put it that way…and emptiness inside of us that only He can fill. People try to fill this emptiness with all kinds of other things and relationships and go from one to the other to get that emptiness filled, never finding fulfillment. It is only when you meet with your creator and accept Him as your Lord that that emptiness is filled with His love and His purpose. Then you are complete and realize what you have been created for. I don’t care who even tries to argue this…been there, done that and found the truth. Hallelujah!

          • LetJesusComeInsideYou

            And the conversation took a turn

          • Cheryl Brand

            The second coming of jesus! Wow poor buggar , bet there are lots of people who feel sorry for him

          • JimmyNice

            This is the worst nonsense… “you are not complete… you need God to fill you.. deep… inside you”… UGH!

            You are a complete human being. You need to find a purpose. A calling. A way to live your life fulfilled.

            While I think it’s crazy, if you feel fulfilled praying and believing in a particular flavor of god… then good for you. As long as you don’t try to deny actual science or impede government or law. Have at it.

            We are simply scared to die. That’s why every religion was made. To create order through fear. Do what I tell you or you’ll go to the worst place I can imagine “Be good or I’ll f’n spank you!”.

            If you are only being good because you are afraid of a mythical afterlife punishment place… then you are NOT really good. Be good just because it’s the right thing to do.

          • JimmyNice

            This is the worst nonsense… “you are not complete… you need God to fill you.. deep… inside you”… UGH!

            You are a complete human being. You need to find a purpose. A calling. A way to live your life fulfilled.

            While I think it’s crazy, if you feel fulfilled praying and believing in a particular flavor of god… then good for you. As long as you don’t try to deny actual science or impede government or law. Have at it.

            We are simply scared to die. That’s why every religion was made. To create order through fear. Do what I tell you or you’ll go to the worst place I can imagine “Be good or I’ll f’n spank you!”.

            If you are only being good because you are afraid of a mythical afterlife punishment place… then you are NOT really good. Be good just because it’s the right thing to do.

          • JimmyNice

            Because we get to exist. We like existing. We want to exist forever. We want to know that people we love will still be there with us.

            But that is not reality. We are cursed among the animal kingdom because with our sentience we know and understand our eventual demise. We don’t want to die. We are scared of death. Death is no different than before we were born. It is simple nothing. We are not scared of what we were before we are born. It is no more scary to think of what we will be once we die.

            So we created belief systems. Look at every culture on earth. From Native Americans, to Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa. We look up at the stars and seek connection. We tell stories of our ancestors and how they carry on or how their spirit affects us today. We look up at the beauty and hope somehow we will live there forever in paradise.

            And in sense… we will. My parents blood exists in me. My blood exists in my daughters. The molecules and chemicals in my body are the same ones that cooked in the crucible that created the universe. Those explosions that created galaxies and stars spread their matter across the universe. Matter and Energy can not be destroyed. It merely changes forms. We have atoms of stars that died and exploded billions of years ago, in our bodies now. We are connected to “the heavens” as it were. One day, billions of years from now, our Sun will go Supernova and destroy most of our solar system. Our atoms will be spread out once more throughout the galaxy. Perhaps I will be part of a moon. Or a new star… or dare I say it. Life again on another planet.

            We are connected. We are more than ourselves in a cosmic way. Why would a deity create a world that exists for billions of years, to have us show up in the last million. Then give us no instructions until 2 thousand years ago. The time of man is fleeting. We are nothing in the grand scheme of things. We are so INCREDIBLY lucky to have life… to exist. Revel in it. Revel in the connection we all share. We all have matter from stars in our body now. We all came from the same small cluster of humans in southern Africa a million years ago. If you have blue eyes, DNA now proves that you are directly related to a man who lived on the Black Sea some 30,000 years ago.

            We live in an amazing time of learning… of understanding… of scientific progress. Find out more. Learn more. Why would you pick one book and try to live your life by what that book says. Moby Dick is a good book.. but I’m not going to live my life by it. The bible has some good life lessons in it. But so does Ben Franklins parables. So do the teachings of the Native Americans.

            Let go of your fear. Face that you will die and most likely never connect with those that die before it. Love them now before they go. Make use of that time. Don’t let the days slip by. They are precious.

            Or you can stay in a bubble and pray for what you want.

            I hope your life is full.. and well spent.

          • Jaqui De Kock

            Well said Liezel. I totally get what you say, I, like so many others had this emptiness in my life for so long that only got filled when I met Jesus. Unfortunately people deny Him and try to fill that void with things, money, relationships, sex, drugs, alcohol etc. But it is only when you have God fill that void that you truly find peace in your life. People can come with their clever little words (the bible calls such wisdom empty) but I have seen Him heal the sick, set people free from chains that bind them, comfort the lonely, etc etc. And there is nothing in the world that can sepparate us from that love….not life, not death, no demon in hell or any person that think they know it all.

          • Zummy

            Lol, that had me laughing pretty hard too!

        • Cheryl Brand

          If you need a fear of God in your life to do the right thing you are amoral . You need empathy, compassion and a generous heart . Religion starts war – like right now on this page . Religion is like a penis – its all right to have one , its alright to be proud of it , but don’t whip it out in public and ram it down my throat and think you are better than me because you have one,

        • Cheryl Brand

          Why should we fear a loving god , that is contradictory in itself . If god was loving no one need fear him . How can you be afraid of something and love it at the same time?

      • Zummy

        Here, Here!! Well said, good sir.

    • Lisa Torres

      This should be number one. Totally awesome.

    • NancyJane

      Not everyone believes. This article is respectful of that fact.

    • Aardvark

      Barf. Prayer warrior.

    • Aardvark

      I’m not religious. My family is very happy. Do you still recommend this for me? Is it a big tent, or are only people who believe like you do “ok”?

    • Aardvark

      “This article is great, except it doesn’t exclude people who don’t believe the same thing I do.”

  • cfbcfb

    About half of these can be boiled down to “Praise the effort, not the ability”. Way too often we say “Great! You’re so smart” or “Wow, you ran really fast on that play”. This raises the childs dependency on their abilities. When you say “You worked really hard on this project and it shows” or “You didn’t give up on that play” you encourage them to rely less on their abilities and more on giving an effort.

    Effort + abililty + opportunity = success

    • drrichardnorris

      Well said. My focus with our kids is to ensure that have fun whilst they do their best.

    • Steve Smith

      that’s a great. Never looked at it that way before

  • Jolene

    Even as an adult, I wouldn’t hearing other adults doing this to each other! Maybe it’s just because I was never encouraged as a child (nothing I did was”good enough” and I’m still not meeting whatever unrealistic expectations out there.).

    • Bevish

      I agree Jolene. I have an adult child, (age 21) and I was thinking I could use these guidelines to remind myself to compliment and encourage his hard work at school, job, and home. Kind words are appreciated by everyone, no matter your age.

  • jason

    Hey on that note dont compliment them on cleaning their room, because its really not their room its yours. Even if you think religion is fairy tale letting them find there own sounds like a great idea considering no religion tells you to let your seed wonder astray and find there own someday may be. So yea leave them alone and let them find there own identity and let someone else influence them on beliefs that could have ben instilled by you. And when they do decide to practice cannibalism embrace it. Wow! And we wonder why it is this way in this day and age.

    • Aardvark


  • Maevelada

    Wow, so sorry someone’s exposure to religion was all negative or”crammed down your throat, or brainwashed” ok I Wow, so sorry someone’s exposure to religion was all negative or”crammed down your throat, or brainwashed” ok I apologize for taking paraphrasing liberties but not all religion is negative there are truly happy living Christians out there if u open your eyes and heart. Let your children learn and explore, but stop them before they run into the street full of cars or burn themselves on a hot stove. And whatever analogy u want to envision with respect of religion or faith, if u truly love them you will allow them to make their own mistakes and find their true selves. Ps all religion or religious influence is not bad. And how is it that many religions have similar beliefs? Perhaps we all believe in the same God just culturally interpreted differently. apologize for taking paraphrasing liberties but not all religion is negative there are truly happy living Christians out there if u open your eyes and heart. Let your children learn and explore, but stop them before they run into the street full of cars or burn themselves on a hot stove. And whatever analogy u want to envision with respect of religion or faith, if u truly love them you will allow them to make their own mistakes and find their true selves. Ps all religion or religious influence is not bad. And how is it that many religions have similar beliefs? Perhaps we all believe in the same God just culturally interpreted differently.

    • JimmyNice

      There are lots of good religious people out there. My point is to not indoctrinate your children. Have them ask questions. Give them lots of resources to look at possible answers and make their own decisions. If my daughters became Christian as a result of that questioning, that is a lot better in my book then having it spoon fed to them with no room for exploration.

  • drrichardnorris

    As parents we are meant to establish the boundaries that give them te context in which our kids can grow and develop. Sure we aren’t perfect but a laissez-faire approach is a crap-shoot.

    • Cheryl Brand

      I agree completely with this statement . Children need guidance, love, consistence and acceptance. This can happen with or without a religious input. Moral guidelines are the core of society (or should be). Even a mongrel dog likes a pat on the head and a loving home!

  • Compliments are the most powerful parenting skill you can develop!

    • We agree!

    • JimmyNice

      If only more parents did it. Recognizing the good goes a long way.

  • Maswida Mustafa

    Number 8 is a bit difficult especially when we having guest at home but they also want to serve the guest their way or when they choose their own style for outing I just can’t bear it…

  • Kylie

    I don’t know about the ‘Compliment obedience’, respect YES, obedience no, we are not training dogs, we growing future adults, and I for 1 would rather raise adults who use their own initiative, not adults who’ll grow up doing as their told, no way. Compliment children using their own initiative, and standing up against the crowd!

    • Veg Gal

      Yes, but at some point if you ask them to take out the trash what do you want them to do? You want them to be obedient to your request and take the trash out. Sure, you don’t exactly have to take the trash out, but there are some poor consequences to having trash piling up in your house, not excluding eventually having your house quarantined. As much as we don’t want to admit it there are things in life where it’s just better to follow the rules, and that my friend is obedience. Respect comes later when they can actually understand that although taking out the trash is not fun, it something that is good for the family. At first they need to just take out the trash whether or not they want to, and if you complement them for doing this task it will be easier for them to respect you and your requests later.

      • Jaqui De Kock

        I agree. The problem with the world today is that too many want to do their own thing and don’t want to fall under leadership. What chaos the world will be in if everybody did what they wanted (which does happen a lot). Parents of today are too scared to discipline their children.
        “Spare your son the rod and one day he will put you to shame”. That is a fact.

        • Amazed

          Wow! I thought this was a “Christian” website and email. I am shocked that people who are not followers of Christ read these! And then they argue about the doctrine. Interesting. I say, unsubscribe then!

          • Jaqui De Kock


    • Jaqui De Kock

      Have your own identity yes, in a respectful way. There is no place in society for rebellion. Teaching your children to not obey leaders, parents etc will cause them to be rejected by society.

      • JimmyNice

        You teach your children to respect authority when it is deserved and to QUESTION everything. Why listen to you. Why listen to me. Go out and question for yourself. Find your own answers. Be a human being. Not a sheep.

  • Carol McMeans

    In order to compliment our children on any aspect of their lives, we as parents are charged with directing, educating and serving as an example of all the above mentioned characteristics. To simply throw empty compliments at our children for something that they are not doing or don’t know how to do is useless and detrimental to healthy development of the child. We must teach our children what we want them to know and do and to set goals. Then compliment the actions taken toward achieving those goals. When they reach the age of accountability is when they decide for themselves which path they wish to follow. But when they are children, it is our duty to guide their lives in the way we believe to be correct. That is all we can do.

  • Aardvark

    Everybody who’s so angrily religious on this thread, can I get you to state your level of education?

  • kysakai

    Great article. Always good to have reminders!

    • Glad you liked it!

  • Nancy Nuzer

    Everyday my children and when my granddaughter left for school our catch phrase was “I know you’ll make me proud cause you always do!” as they got on the bus.

  • Cheryl Brand

    Such a great article
    Just rang my adult son for a chat and told him how proud of him I am . Thanks for the reminder!

  • deanmay

    How about you just compliment them every chance you get, be willing to admit your own shortcomings, and love on them for all you are worth. You won’t get it all right. Don’t worry about it. As long as you love them and are willing to display your own failures.

  • Killiekins

    Thankyou for sharing, great read

  • Marie

    Heavily Father, i pray today for all those that have read this article, will read this article and for those reading/commenting below, that you will show each and every one of us a piece of your True love, that they will all come to know you through the love of others. I am praying for the enemy to leave their thoughts and stop filling them with lies and false hope. Come Lord Jesus, Come. We need you. Amen.

    • BlahBlah


    • Richelle

      And it’s you who are the strong one here. Amen. May all people find faith in SOMETHING. If no faith in anything, then what do you look forward to? No hope? Then they aren’t really living.

      • JimmyNice

        It is so sad… that you feel life is not worth living… unless you are guaranteed an afterlife with MORE of it.

        Life is amazing. I feel truly luck to live. I don’t need a made up deity to complete me. I love every sunset, every smile from my daughters… every hug from them at night.

        Someday I will no longer have that. But they will have my memory… and my blood… and I will carry on in their children.

        What are we when the last that remember us are gone. Accept that we are not all going to leave marks on the world that will last an eternity… Heck Humans have only been around about a million years. the Earth is 3.5 billion years old and the Universe over 13 billion years old.

        Humanity on our 1 little planet is but a blink in time.. and a drop of water in an ocean of possibility.

        We are lucky to exist. Enjoy it.

    • JimmyNice

      How’s that working for you… hmm… Still waiting… oh wait.. nothings happening… because there is nothing there!

      I have no false hope. Death is as it was before I was born. Life is glorious. And I intend to enjoy every moment I have.

      I’m not standing in a small room afraid to move out of it for fear of what will happen after I die. I live life for now.

      And I live it justly and morally. Not because of fear of punishment… but because it’s simply the right thing to do… for myself and my fellow man.

      • Jaqui De Kock

        Dear Jimmy not so nice, it’s exactly a year later and I am just as in love with Jesus as a year ago, in fact more than ever. You see Jimmy, when Jesus is in your life and you see His hand in your family’s lives every day there is no denying He is alive. This is not a belief…it is a relationship with a very real God who reveals Himself to His children.
        Think about it this way – you are going to be way more dissapointed than me when our lives are over to discover that there was a loving God who created us, than I will be to discover there wasn’t. So if I was you my friend, I would avoid that knawing and gnashing of teeth and just explore the real truth. Ps: when you know Jesus, you don’t serve Him to avoid hell, you love Him because of what He has done for you and because He first loved us.
        It actually takes more faith to be an atheist than to be a Christian…You need faith to keep reminding yourself that what you believe is true…I have evidence every single day of my life, I see God everywhere I go. I can testify to what my life was before Him (oh yes, I didn’t grow up like this, I was very much lost and miserable before I knew Him) and I know who I am today and how He lavishes such love upon me…Joy unspeakable, peace that surpasses all understanding, and favour, oh such favour. So you see, I CAN compare and I tell you, I choose Jesus over and over again, I will never go back to my old life.
        I would rather live this way, receive every day and die full than dying empty and discover I was wrong. You have ONE chance…This life. There’s no turning back and making it right when your time is up. Will you take that chance?
        I hope to hear from you here one day that you have discovered the truth. Otherwise I will see you in the afterlife, I guarantee you of that, I will bet my life on it.

        • JimmyNice

          You have bet your life on it. There is no gnawing and gnashing of teeth here… mild amusement at your fervour perhaps. But there is nothing here for me to get excited about. But it is pretty funny that you saved this post to come back to a year later in weak attempt to berate me.

          If you think it takes more faith to be an atheist, you may need a dictionary to look up the actual meaning of the word. It is a lack of belief in any higher spiritual power or deity… Not specifically Christian… Hindu, Muslim, Judaism, Shintoism.. any of it.

          Why, because there is absolutely ZERO quantifiable evidence for one. The ONLY thing you have is a 2,000 year old book, written my men, to keep their slaves, women and children in line. I’m pretty sure you have no right or authority to teach anything to a man… you are merely a weaker shadow of me… made from a part of me… is that not what you “good book” says. 🙂

          You are just spouting Christian rhetoric and rather than look at the real world, you are viewing the world to see how it can fit your chosen outlook. You pick the parts you want to see. You look at beauty in nature and say “that must be god”. You look at a beautiful child and say “that must be god”… But you CHOOSE to ignore the fact the there is no historical proof of Jesus. You CHOOSE to ignore that fact that the majority of stated facts in the bible can easily be proven as false (the world is not 6,000 years old, the sun and stars to NOT revolve around the earth). You choose to look at any of the other 1,600 odd religions around the world and say “Those guys are crazy… but I’m right!”. It’s not exploring and discovering our world and everything in it… it’s trying to make it fit… and a lot of it doesn’t.

          What gets me about hard core Christians such as yourself, is how incredibly “Un-Christian” you are. The arrogance. It’s just unbelievable. That you believe YOU are given joy and peace and “oh, such favour” from you made up deity… while he lets children die of cancer. That he “Lavishes love on you”, while he lets thousands starve.

          Good thing he’s giving you such favour right, because you are so much more worthy right? That you think in billions of galaxies, each with billions of stars all with a multitude of planets surrounding them with untold life on them… you think your “god” created all of it… for human beings… who have only been around about a million years or so on this one planet out of all of it. The childlike arrogance of it being “all for me”.

          I’m not worried about some afterlife punishment, because there is none. Now just because I believe that, doesn’t mean I just ignore moral decency. I don’t suddenly say “well I can do whatever I want, the bible was the only thing stopping me from doing evil”. That would be ludicrous. I teach my kids right from wrong. We do charitable work. My kids are unbelievably empathetic and want to help people around them. They ask questions and see beauty in the world and make the world a better place.

          And you would look at my kids and say “you don’t know Jesus, you will burn in hell forever”. What a bunch of made up terrorist mind set BS! How can you not see it for what it is… a method of trying to control the weak.

          If you need Santa for grown-ups… that’s fine with me. I’m not fighting a war to take it away from you. I could care less. As long as no one is forcing that crap into government, or on my family… have at it.

          Enjoy your life, I know I will.

  • Debra King

    Absolutely praise the effort – not the result! My daughter recently earned her GS Gold Award (the highest in Girl Scouts) during her Junior year of HS with the heaviest load of courses and extracurriculars she had ever had. The achievement is phenomenal – but I focused on the fact that she had set that goal and worked so hard for it. That is the life skill that will matter in the end.

  • Lindi Boonzaier


  • annabok

    My mom never failed to tell me how fat I was every single day.smh!

  • sjh

    Why did 10 simple ideas turn into a huge religious discussion???

    • JimmyNice

      Because a commenter 1st told them that they needed to add praising them for preforming christian activities. Which all the non-christians took umbrage with. Before that there was no mention.

  • Scott

    I really don’t understand all of the attacks on Christians about what we teach our kids. Everyone teaches their kids based on what they believe, but yet when a Christian does it, it is seen as brain washing. If we are guilty of brainwashing our kids just because we teach based on what we believe, then EVERYONE is brainwashing their kids! Because everyone teaches based on what they believe.

    Why do those that are against religion get to decide what is taught and Christians don’t? Who put you in charge of my children? Everyone has the free will to decide for themselves what they will believe and how they will live their lives. You may not agree with me and I may not agree with you, but all of us get to chose for ourselves.

    • JimmyNice

      No… you don’t brainwash your kids by having them ask questions. Of everything. You and I know a lot as parents simply because we are older and have experienced more. So we answer questions that we KNOW. But we need to encourage exploration and questioning. I am human. I can be wrong. I can make mistakes.. and so should they. It’s part of growing up.

      The truth though, with any religion, not picking on Christianity, the majority of people come to it via their parents and their beliefs. This more predicated more by the region you were born in the world than any exploration of facts and questions.

      If you were born in India, you would be Hindu right now. Your parents would be Hindu and you would be teaching your kids to follow Hinduism.

      Why not let people explore cultures, religions, teachings, stories… ask questions and make decisions.

      If someone comes to a particular religions after all that… good for them. It’s an informed decision.

      If you are just parroting what your parents told you… you are just hanging onto a belief in Santa… to assuage your fears of death.

      • Scott

        JimmyNice, you are proving my point. You stated “So we answer questions that we KNOW”. How do you know it? Based on what you were told, lived, read, researched, and the same can be said of me. What you believe based on all of that research and life experience is what you KNOW. You took all of the information that you have gathered over life and decided what you believed to be true was the TRUTH, discarded the rest, and you modeled your life choices based on that. Again, it’s the same with me. So having said that, what we BELIEVE and what we KNOW is fully intertwined with each other. You can’t have one without the other.

        To the next part of you statements. You stated that kids are pretty much pushed into religion based on their parent’s beliefs and where they live. In other words you are saying that I am essentially brainwashing (I use this term to prove a point) my kids because I am teaching them based on what I believe. Therefore I am teaching them what I KNOW to be true based on my life experiences (what I have been told, read, researched, etc.).

        So where is the difference between you and me? We sure look like we are doing the same thing by teaching our kids what we KNOW.

        Everyone has a bias toward something. Such as having your kids grow up to only be able to get a minimum wage job. No one wants their kids to be like that, we want them to be successful in all they do. So, based on our biases, we steer them in a different direction.

        So let me ask you this. Are you pushing your kids away from religion? Are you only giving them an opposing view of religion or are you truly allowing them to explore it fully to decide for themselves? Will you allow them to read the various religious texts (Bible, Koran, etc.) so that they can make an informed decision without your influence? Would it bother you if one of your kids came home one day and said that he is now a Christian? Would you accept it?

        I feel that with the last question I already know the answer. It seems to me that you are not really about having an open mind to allow people to choose for themselves, but that you are against religion and it gets you fired up anytime someone brings it up. After all, you did state “This is a great article, but I’m glad it didn’t try to add religious fairy tales to the mix.”

        Jimmy, just to be clear, I’m not trying to be a jerk. I am just proving the point that I was trying to make in the first place. Every time someone brings up religion on a forum someone like you attacks them. I’m tired of seeing it happen. Is it really necessary for us to hijack this forum thread and get into all of this?

        • JimmyNice

          You are taking the term KNOW the wrong way. Perhaps I should have said “Scientifically Proven”.

          I know why rain falls from the clouds. I know that the earth revolves around the sun. I know that animals evolve. Why? Because it’s scientifically proven. Science doesn’t care about your background, your creed or your religion. It just is.. or it isn’t.

          You are sharing a belief. You believe in an Abrahamic deity… I’m assuming. There is zero scientific evidence to back that up.

          I believe that bigfoot might exist. There is actually more scientific evidence of that, then there is of an all powerful deity controlling our lives… picking who lives and dies, who to save and who to damn.

          The difference is I have not definitive scientific proof of Bigfoot. I think it’s interesting.. and I look into it… and when my daughters say “Is bigfoot real” I tell them no one’s been able to prove it. There is this film… these foot prints with dermal ridges… these audio recordings… but they are all “circumstantial” … not real proof…. but I say it’s interesting.

          If my daughter found something that made sense to her in the Quran or the Bible or the Talmud or the Tao de Ching that spoke to them. Moved them and made them feel it was the correct fit for their life, I would support it. But I would acknowledge that it was a belief for them… not a fact. I would also support them and love them.

          But the reality is that people don’t come to religion that way (maybe Buddhism) … most people are indoctrinated with religion at an early age with their parent beliefs. They don’t tell their kids it’s just something they believe with NO proof to back it up. They tell their kids it’s real. That they will REALLy burn in hell if they don’t do as they are told. It’s nothing more than a scare tactic.

          My kids are incredible good children. They respect their parents and do as we ask. But they aren’t afraid to ask “Why” or “How”. If I don’t know I will send them to Google… if science doesn’t know.. big questions like “what happens when we die” I will always add the “I don’t know” … but I follow it up with what we do know.

          That we have the elements of the universe inside us. That those molecules can never be destroyed.. they just change form. I joke and tell them the air they are breathing, may once have been a dinosaurs fart millions of years ago. That our time here with an existence we are aware of, appears by all accounts to be fleeting, so we need to enjoy it. Live our lives. Love those around us. Work to make our little corner of the world a better place. Because that’s what we have. One day our personal existence will end. We will return to what we were before we were born. Is it nothing? very likely. But still a great unknown. And if we do somehow carry on.. in a form of energy that can’t be destroyed (which is why I’m agnostic and not atheist)… it’s very likely something quite different than what little humans have imagined.. in our short time of existence.. in our little planet in the galaxy.

          It is incredibly egotistical to think… that all of this was made just for us. But I feel incredibly luck to experience it… and to have these kinds of conversations.

          You see it as “attacking those with religion”. I see it as a religious person, once again, firing the 1st strike. Religion is like a penis… fine to have… fine to share with those who ask to share it with you… but dammit stop waving it around every opportunity you have. There are a lot of us who don’t want to hear it or see it. Keep it to yourself.

      • Jeremy Hooper

        “I am human. I can be wrong. I can make mistakes.. and so should they.”

        Yes, yes, and yes. You tell them Santa!

  • Flavia

    Sadly, my mom never, ever game me a compliment or any Word o approval in my life. Now I’m 30 and I try to do differently With my son…
    Never getting a compliment made me grow thinking that I Never deserved anything I would get, even gifts or happiness, took me years to change those thoughts…

  • Steve Smith

    I just texted my daughter whom is 17 “everytime I see you I’m thankful then I’m your dad… you’re growing up so fast and becoming a fine young lady I could not be prouder… just wanted to tell you that I love you to pieces… hope you have a great day” she hasn’t responded yet but I’m sure when she reads it it’ll make her smile from the inside out

  • Jaqui De Kock

    This life is only a rehearsal and after this, eternal life. I know where I will spend eternity. Do you? We will meet one day, unfortunately for some it will be too late. So you know some bible stories, that says nothing…so does the devil.
    Please keep your absolutely pathetic ideas to yourself, I don’t argue with a fool.

    • JimmyNice

      What a sad sorry life you must have that this is your rehearsal. This is the only life you get Jaqui. You don’t see the dearly departed, they don’t see you… what’s more, you won’t even know either way because you’ll just be dead. There is no devil, there is not god… or Thor, or Loki… or Zeus & Hades. Your religion is just a pale rewritten copy of other religions that came before it. There isn’t a single unique thing in christianity and there is no historical validation for Jesus even existing. If you were born in India you would be sanctimoniously preaching how Vishnu was the real true that that I was screwing up my Karma for my next life. It’s all stories. I hope you actually live a little bit of this life before it’s gone.

  • annemarie

    we thank god for you everyday .

  • Km

    Wow Parents… I was excited to read the 48 comments for this article because it asked “Do you remember a compliment your own Mom gave you?” and I was looking for even greater ways to show and say to my daughter I love her and am proud of her from our our own important lessons we could share with each other. Instead I read through a disappointing thread of arguing parents over religion insisting their way is the only way and making the subject about them desguising it to be about their children. I was hoping for support from other mothers and more ideas of giving compliments and praising our children in the best ways possible…

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  • Jaylen Wright

    the last compliment my mom gave me was good job on pi day. those 10 compliments i only checked number 7
    sad isnt it

  • Jaylen Wright

    why cant my mom love me for who i am

    • Layla

      Jaylen – I’m so sorry. Some parents just show love better than others. Some are selfish and more about themselves. Some never learned how to love well. Some are being strangled by addictions or abuse and are unable to love beyond themselves. My parents are passed on now, but I asked an old aunt once about the affection they grew up with and her answer just stunned me. She said “The only affection we ever got was when we got slapped around once in a while.” I just can’t imagine growing up that way! You need to know that you are loved! God loves you more than you can even wrap your head around! And He does love you for who you are, because that’s how He made you! Don’t base your worth on your earthly parents’ lack of love or affection. THEY are getting it wrong, not you. This page (http://www.fathersloveletter.com/text.html) is a wonderful collection of scriptures that are of God Himself telling us how much He loves us! Memorize your favorites and get them deep into your heart. Let Him be the parent you look to and model yourself after. Your heavenly Father is SO proud of you!

  • Bill Templeton

    I would like to get people’s thoughts on the following: I praise my 3 year old by saying “It makes me very happy when you share with your little brother”. I’ve heard the opinion that telling her that something “makes me happy” is bad because it creates emotionally dependent children. So far, the result is that she is very good with sharing and seems to have a healthy emotional attachment style otherwise. I would love to hear other’s thoughts on the topic.

  • póg mo thóin

    When I was in first grade, I remember my Mom saying I was a gutter snipe and she wished I was dead, and that was the best compliment I ever received. She has Borderline Personality Disorder, basically Mommie Dearest. I lived with crazy for the duration of my childhood.

  • Juliekha Fataar

    sorry I really don’t agree, this is because I was born Muslim and converted to Catholic. People all over the world convert to the religion of their choice everyday.

  • jaime4brienne

    I’d say DON’T compliment their friends. We went camping with one of our son’s friends and now our son (Fox) is always telling me, “You think Sam’s so funny. You think Sam’s so great. You like Sam better than you like me.” When he said that I said “Are you crazy? I might like Sam but I love you. I’m always going to like you the best.”