If you’re like me, you love giving compliments to your kids. Phrases like “You are just so cute!”, “Look at those big blue eyes!” and “What a handsome boy!” seem to come so effortlessly. I mean, who doesn’t love hearing that they have the cutest little dimples and button nose? Compliments centered around looks may be fun and easy, but it’s important that parents find other ways to compliment their children, especially when it comes to starting their school day off right.
Read on for why you should compliment your child on behaviors rather than looks and how it can help them throughout their school day. You’ll also get inspired with 30 compliments you can shower your children with starting today!
Why It’s Important
Looks-based compliments are completely outside your child’s control – yes, they may have a beautiful smile (and it’s nice for them to hear it every so often!), but they come by their looks naturally. On the other hand, compliments based on their behavior can encourage children to make improvements and think about how they are in charge of their own behavior. Research shows that compliments can have many benefits on children, including motivation, cooperation, persistence, and hard-working behaviors.1 These sound like a great way to encourage and inspire kids as they head off to start the school day!
As an educator, I know that students thrive when they have four behavior-based praises for every behavior correction they receive.2 This rule applies at home too! And when you give your child more compliments, you’ll probably find that they will respond better when you have to dole out a needed negative correction as well.
30 Compliments You Can Give Your Children to Start the School Day
You can give your child many compliments that emphasize things other than their looks. We know that with all the pressure kids get to look a certain way from their social circles and social media, they need to know their worth is much more than that.
Compliments About Work Ethic:
1. You are such a hard worker.
2. I love how you keep trying when learning something new.
3. You always do your best work!
4. You know how to focus and get a job finished well.
5. When you ask for help, you show that you care about learning more.
6. You are such a good problem solver.
7. I like to see how determined you are to fix your mistakes.
8. You never give up, even when things get hard!
9. You always do your part when working in a group.
10. It is so fun to watch you confidently tackle a challenge.
Compliments About Relationships with Others:
1. You are a kind friend.
2. I love hearing you say nice things to others.
3. You know just what to say when someone around you is sad.
4. I love how you help others with a smile.
5. I like how you inspire others to do the right thing.
6. I love how your smile makes others feel happy!
7. You know how to lead others gently.
8. Your class is so lucky to have a friend like you.
9. I am blessed to have such a thoughtful son/daughter.
10. I like how you always share your things with others.
Compliments About Personal Behavior:
1. I see how you try to be so neat and organized.
2. You are strong and healthy.
3. You always do what’s asked of you without complaining.
4. I love how you listen closely and follow directions.
5. When it’s time to pick up, you are the first to start.
6. I love to hear about your creative ideas!
7. You do the right thing, even when no one is watching.
8. Your confidence is contagious!
9. I like how well you follow our morning routine.
10. You are so fun to talk and sing with on the way to school!
There are two different ways to approach your compliment of choice. You may simply want to encourage a behavior your child is already exhibiting. This really reinforces the behavior and helps your child have a positive self-image. Or, you may want to encourage behavior that you’d like your child to improve in. For example, if your child isn’t giving their best effort at school, you may make a big deal out of a small win to encourage that behavior to develop. You might give a compliment like, “You turned in your best work yesterday and earned a sticker. I can’t wait to see what you do today!”
It takes little effort, but gifting your children a positive compliment to start the school day can greatly impact how they act and feel during the day. And over time, you’ll see happier, confident children as you start your mornings together!