1. Complement their character. When our children demonstrate honesty, kindness, trustworthiness and reliability, that’s a great time to take them aside and offer a sincere compliment. You need to enforce these qualities in children. They need to know that these characteristics are important to have a successful life.
2. Complement obedience and respect. If your child shows respect for others tell them that you realize just how amazing they are. Say something like: “I don’t always tell you, but I always think you are so awesome when you behave so well and treat others with respect”.
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. They need to know that they don’t have to be perfect to be loved unconditionally.
4. Complement contributions to the family. Kids need to understand their value in and around the house. They need to know that their help can make your load easier. Thank them for that.
5. Compliment the quality of their work. “This is one clean room, mister!” “You even remembered to water the small flowerbed next to the house”. Reward them accordingly.
6. Complement the effort, even when the result is not the best. Children need to face the reality that everything is not perfect and that there is always room for improvement. They need to see it as a challenge, rather than a failure. Be positive and give uplifting advice. Constructive criticism is how we all learn. Don’t wait for perfection before you give a compliment.
7. Compliment when they achieve something new. Whether it is a better score in math or a positive note from a teacher, give a compliment. Tell your child that they are doing well because they put in the hours and commitment to better themselves.
8. Complement their sense of creativity. When they come up with something that is creative and imaginary, compliment them on it. Kids want to feel that they can create something that other people didn’t think of. Tell them that they are talented and have big potential. Encourage them to keep on doing creative things.
9. Complement their friends. If they have well-mannered friend tell them that you are proud of them that they chose a friend that is so polite. They need to know that you trust their judgment and that will encourage good choices in future as well. Tell them that you have confidence in them because they choose their friends well.
10. Tell your children that they are beautiful. They need to feel cherished and their self-esteem is very important for healthy relationships.
11. Compliment your children for being emphatic and considerate. If they help someone without too much prompting, you need make sure that they know that helping others will add to their own happiness.
12. Compliment your children when they eat healthy food. Kids can never be encouraged enough to live a healthy life-style. The benefits of good eating and sleeping habits as well as regular exercise can change a child’s life.
Zelda Van Rooyen, mother of 3, recreation co-ordinator and inspiration to many writes for Look4it Knysna from Dubai.
She’s an ex-Knysnarian. Her articles are published on a Wednesday on a fortnightly basis.
If you would like to send Zelda a message, please forward it to email@example.com and we’ll make sure it reaches her.