This week I was complimented on a pair of boots that I was wearing. It is nice to receive compliments isn’t it? The person is really saying ‘you have good taste’ or ‘you look nice’ or ‘they are an unusual choice- well done!’ There is something about a genuine and unexpected compliment that can really make someone’s day and we really don’t do it enough. We should challenge ourselves to pay someone a compliment every day - watch and see the difference it makes to them.
Because we aren’t used to them, it can be challenging to receive compliments. Many people are embarrassed by the exposure or feel that the person might have poor motives for the comment. It can be hard to accept positive praise and yet it is so easy to accept criticism or negativity. As people, we seem more willing to believe negative comments about ourselves, however they are phrased.
For both adults and children this can be particularly damaging. Most of us are aware that research says that you need to praise a child nine times for every one criticism in order to support emotional wellbeing and get the best outcomes. This can seem very hard to do. In the busyness and chaos of family lives, it is easy to see negative behaviour and chastise rather than compliment the compliant and praise the good.
In order to help our young people to reach their full potential we need to work as a team to motivate using positive praise. Try to find several ways to praise for every time you have had to say something negative. All children have gifts and talents, all children have ways in which they shine. As adults, it is our job to help children find these qualities that make them unique, special people.