Monday, December 27, 2010

Make Your New Year’s Resolution to Compliment Your Kids More Often

Your child(ren) look to you for encouragement, affirmation, security, and love.  This is absolutely necessary for positive emotional development in children. Do you recognize how often you compliment your children? What was the most recent positive affirmation you verbalized with your child?  When giving compliments to your kids make sure they are genuine, honest and really mean something.  Kids can sense when you are not being genuine and when they are just surface comments and this can be completely crushing to a child’s self-esteem.   False-praise can break a child’s trust. Conversely, praise from the heart will bring up a child’s confidence and make them feel safe & truly loved.
Make your New Year’s Resolution for 2011 to give meaningful compliments to your child.  Below are 10 compliments every child should hear.

1.      Recognize and compliment character:
When your child(ren) demonstrate honesty, kindness, trustworthiness and reliability – that is a great time to give them a heartfelt 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 your mother”.
3.      Appreciate them for simply being part of the family: “Every time I see you, I’m thankful that I your mom/dad.” Kids need to understand that they are valued simply because they are themselves.
  1. Compliment contributions to the family:
    “Feeding the pet (sweeping the porch… putting out the trash) is helping the family. 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.
  2. Compliment the quality of a child’s work:“You did a great job setting the table!” “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.
  3. We can 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.
  4. It’s important that we compliment children when they achieve something new:
    “Wow! You are doing a great job writing your first and last name.” “Awesome! I’m not at all surprised after you worked so hard.” A well-placed compliment can keep a positive ball rolling.
  5. We can compliment sense of style even if we don’t exactly share their taste:
    We don’t want to hedge kids into being clones of dad, or mom. “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.
  6. 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.
  7. Try complimenting their friends:But only do this when you can do it honestly! “Your friends are the greatest!” “That Jake is such a positive young man.” “You know, it gives me a lot of confidence to know you use common sense in choosing your friends.”