One of the only things I remember my mother saying to me as a child was that I was smart. She told me over and over again, which actually made me believe it, and to this day, I’m grateful she complimented me so often and made me believe it.
So in the midst of training, teaching, and correcting your children, be sure to compliment them like crazy! Here are 10 More Compliments for Kids. The best compliments can come from you.
In the midst of training, teaching, and correcting your children, be sure to compliment them like crazy!
1. Compliment their personality.
“You are so witty!” “You have a very calm presence with little children.” “I love the way you’re so enthusiastic!” Look for aspects of your child’s personality that make them who they are. Be sure not to label, though: “Oh, you’re our outgoing child.” or “You have such a serious personality.”
2. Compliment them physically.
Take this one beyond, “you’re so pretty” or “you’re so handsome” (though children do enjoy hearing that too). Focus on specific physical traits: their happy eyes, their friendly smile, their strong arms, their fast legs. We don’t want to make looks the main focus of our compliments, but it is an area where everyone enjoys encouragement.
3. Compliment their kindness.
Look for times when they go the extra mile. “That was so kind of you to bring up your sister’s cereal bowl.” “The way you gave Dad a big hug when he got home from work was really kind.” “You have one of the kindest hearts I’ve ever seen!”
4. Compliment their attitude.
“Andrew, I really admire your good attitude when you took out the trash cans, even though I know you’d rather have kept watching TV.” “Sarah, I know it’s not easy to have a good attitude after your soccer team loses, but I appreciate the way you told the other team, ‘good game.'” Of course, your children will be watching your attitude too, so try to model what you want to see in them.
5. Compliment their honesty.
Encourage your children to be honest and then compliment them when they are. “Sam, I like the way you wouldn’t sneak food into the movies, even though your friends were doing it. Your honesty is impressive.” “Audrey, thank you for telling me about your missed homework assignment. You are an honest girl.”
6. Compliment their sense of humor.
For starters, laugh at their jokes! Even if you don’t get them completely, go along with them and find joy in their enthusiasm. Beyond that, try to see things through their humor lens, even if it’s different from yours. “Emma, you are so great with puns!” “Nick, you make the best funny faces!”
7. Compliment their manners.
As I’m trying to teach my son to be a gentleman, I compliment him in this area every chance I get. “Thank you so much for getting the door for me, you’re such a gentleman.” “Clara, that was so nice of you to let that elderly lady go in front of you in line.” Or, this one’s from real life, “Thanks kids for suppressing your burp at the table. That’s good manners!”
8. Compliment their courage.
“You are one brave kid. To get up in front of your entire grade and give a speech is awesome!” Look for the small things that might be frightening for your children, and compliment their steps toward their goal. “You know, Max, it can be scary to learn to ride a bike. You showed courage in trying.”
9. Compliment their self-control.
Self-control is not easy… even for adults. So when your child chooses to control himself, compliment him. “Son, I know you wanted to keep arguing with me about this, but I really appreciate your self-control.” “I’m going to tell Dad how you showed such great self-control in putting down your iPad without me having to remind you.”
10. Compliment their ingenuity.
“Man! I never would’ve thought to do it that way! You’re great at coming up with new ways to get things done.” Instead of telling them how you would do it, or the “best” or “fastest” way to do something, let them work through it themselves and then compliment them. “I loved the way you figured that out step by step. That’s ingenuity!”
Tell us: how do you make a point of complimenting your children?