8 Ways to Compliment Your Kids Without Spoiling Them

8 Ways to Compliment Your Kids Without Spoiling Them

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It is good for the confidence of your child if you regularly compliment him. But how and when do you compliment? And what can happen if you give your child too many compliments?

Why is it good to praise a child?

Complimenting your child at a nursery or school will help motivate them. That’s how it works at home. If you or your partner compliments your child:

  • makes him feel good.
  • encourages that desired behavior in him.
  • encourages him to try new things.
  • gives him that confidence.
  • it helps him form a positive self-image.

RELATED POST: How to Build Up Your Child’s Self-Esteem

What do you give compliments for?

There are of course all kinds of reasons why you can compliment your child. Usually you do this spontaneously, if you feel proud or full of love. A few examples of situations where a compliment is appropriate:

  • positive behavior: your child has tidied up his toys or brought his plate to the kitchen.
  • your child has learned something new: he can put on and take off his clothes or he can pee or poop on the pot himself.
  • your child has achieved something: he made a drawing or built a train track himself.
  • your child has done his best: you do not compliment him for the result, but for his effort. Read more compliments for kids

How to Compliment Your Kids The Right Way Without Spoiling Them

8 Ways to Compliment Your Kids Without Spoiling Them

It is, of course, fine to say ‘good that way’ with attention, but if you want to give a compliment without spoiling them, you can also think of these tips:

1- Make your compliment clear

It may make sense to you which behavior deserves a compliment, but a child does not always know exactly what he is doing well. Name it specifically, then your child will also understand what he can do next time. 

For example: “How nice that you help your brother so well by reporting his teddy bear.”

2- Immediately compliment When

you see that your child is doing something good, tell it right away. The faster you give a compliment, the clearer it is for your child: he immediately understands what you mean and that stimulates him to show this behavior more often.

3- Mean what you say

Compliment your child only if you really mean it. If your child notices you saying something just like that, he may feel insecure. He senses whether or not you mean something and whether what you say is correct. 

You do not have to give a compliment for everything, it is not at all bad if your child is not good at something.

4- Be realistic

Does your child love to sing, but does he sing very out of tune? Then you do not have to sprinkle compliments about his pure voice. You can encourage him to practice. 

For example, “You love to sing. Please keep practicing, because then you will get better and better. ‘

5- Keep it positive

Never end a compliment with a negative comment such as, “Why don’t you do that more often?” 

This emphasizes something that he apparently did not do well before and that takes away the positive effect of the compliment.

6- Give a compliment for the effort

If you only shout when your child gets a very good result, it can also make him insecure. What if he fails to score a ten or play that basketball game well? 

You can give your child more confidence if you teach him that it is okay to do something wrong, because you learn from it. Compliment your child when you see him doing his best.

7- Give compliments without words

A compliment does not always have to consist of words. You can also show your child that he has done something right in these ways:

  • a pat on the head
  • a wink
  • a smile
  • a pat on the back
  • put your thumb up
  • give a high five or a box

8- Give compliments: not too little and not too much

A child who (almost) never gets a compliment can feel that he is not good enough. This can ensure that he develops a negative self-image and has little self-confidence. 

Children who receive too many compliments can become easy going. They do not see when they have to put in a good effort to achieve a certain result. 

They can also become insecure if it turns out that there are things they cannot do well.

READ ALSO: Tips for Positive Parenting and How to Put Them Into Practice

The 4 Danger of Giving Excessive Compliments to Your Kids

Studies suggest that some types of praise can actually undermine your child’s motivation (e.g., Mizokawa 2018; Xing et al 2018).

Depending on the circumstances, praise may also damage a child’s self-esteem, or fuel the development of narcissism (Brummelman et al 2017).”

Complimenting gives your child confidence and makes the atmosphere at home positive. Still, it’s good to think about how often you compliment and how you do it. 

If you love everything your child does and keep mentioning it, it can also have negative consequences:

1- No more effort

Reward everything that your child does with a compliment, then he learns not to make an effort if something does not go by itself. He does not learn that success is a result of aptitude and effort – and that he is in control of the latter. 

It is important that your child learns to persevere, especially if something is not so easy or is not going well. Dealing with disappointments is also important to learn. Then your child will be stronger in life later. 

2- Loss of value

If you hear just in time how nice, sweet, handsome, and smart you are, compliments lose their value. It does not come in at some point. Especially when children get older. 

How would you like to hear how great you are all the time? That may seem like fun, but it doesn’t do much for you after a while. Knowing more? This way you ensure that your child develops a positive self-image.

3- Addicted to compliments

Your child can also become dependent on compliments. He then always needs confirmation from others to believe in himself, to dare or to persevere. “If no one says I’m doing it right, am I doing it well enough?” 

The risk of excessive compliments is therefore also that a child develops little perseverance. As soon as the reward stops, his effort also stops. 

And you just can’t tell all the time how well your child is doing something. That’s why you help him more by dosing compliments.

READ ALSO: How To Get Your Kids To Listen Without Yelling

4- Your child cannot do everything

It is healthy if your child learns that he is less good at certain things and that it is okay. Nobody excels at everything.

It makes a lot more sense for your child’s confidence that he experiences that you can get better at something by practicing and persevering. That simply does not happen by itself. 

And if you get better, you still don’t have to be the best. Giving compliments is therefore very important, but it is also important that you do not exaggerate. You don’t help your child with that. 

Read more on the negative effects of overpraising kids here. 


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8 Ways to Compliment Your Kids Without Spoiling Them

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