I am reading a book, The Help, by Kathryn Stockett (I can’t even tell you the last time I read fiction for myself. What a treat!). I haven’t even finished it yet, but I’m very much enjoying the book. It’s an interesting weave of fiction with history fact – historical fiction
Today, as I was reading, I was stunned by a phrase. Brought out of the trance of the story. The phrase was “What if I told her everyday that she be special.” I’ve decided that the phrase needs to be written on the wall. A sign that will remind me to compliment my kids –focus on the reinforcement of positive praise – “Tell her she’s great each day” at least in some way.
I always compliment my children “you’re so smart,” “you’re so cute,” “you’re so funny,” and “you’re so beautiful.” But I don’t think that I make an effort to tell them each and every day. In the book, the child, who is being raised by The Help, a maid in the 1960s in the South, is not paid much attention to by her parents. In fact, her mother often looks upon the child as a nuisance. The maid is saddened by this and decides to compliment her daily, telling her that she is a “good girl” and that she “be a smart girl.” The maid decides that giving the child daily positive compliments will help outweigh the negative.
I am taken aback by this. It is true and now, I have decided that I need to be more conscious of this. We all know that positive remarks can make a world of difference. I don’t believe you can spoil a child with compliments.
Therefore, I have made a conscious decision to praise my children each day. I think that I do most of the time anyway, but there is nothing wrong with ensuring that I’m doing it each and every day.
How do you praise your children each day?
David Verney says
Although my wife and I have had any children yet and we know nothing at all about having and bringing up children, I do know the power of positive thinking.
Telling your kids that they are smart and beautiful would lead to a happy home life and success for them in their school lives. If you call someone something enough times, they become what you are calling them.
I have often thought that getting your kids to do something in the house (eg washing up – or something along those lines) and paying them to do so, would lead to good work ethic and a good and sound business mind which leaves them in good stead for work later in life.
Thanks for sharing this one. It’s really interesting stuff.
David Verney recently posted…Leaving Comments Wherever You Can Will Work Wonders for Your Business
Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I agree with the statement “tell something enough times” and they become that. I think that definitely can happen and is an excellent reason to have a time of positive reinforcement each and every day. THanks.
Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. says
That is a great revelation, Tawnee!
We adopted that as part of our morning and evening prayers, when the kids were younger. And, then, when i divorced, and my ex had the kids for three days a week, I dropped off postcards that expressed that sentiment, so they could start each day with that thought (and then we communicated in the same way on the phone in the evening).
Having never really heard that from my folks- and heard it from my friends’ folks, I knew the effect- and didn’t want my kids to miss out on that!
Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. recently posted…Let’s Kill Jobs!
Excellent point. I mean, its not like we don’t praise them but I think making it a pointed part of each day could have a very positive effect. No matter how frustrating the day can be at times, there is always something delightful to point out and emphasize. Thanks for stopping by.
Barbara Klein says
I agree with you. It is very important for children to feel they are valuable. And don’t just say that is good, but tell them what they did that was good–I like the way you picked up your toys, or you are a very helpful sister. Kids need positive reinforcement every day.
So true. I think that I do it most of the time, but there may be stressful, crazy days where it has slipped by. I want to make sure that it is forefront as it, to me, may be more important that many other things. Thanks.
Hey – I used to home school, too (3 kids for 5 years k-high, plus neowbrn at home)! Now my kids attend a 4 day charter which we (I) love! Home schooling is a full time job…not for the faint of heart…good for you!
Thanks for stopping by. Yes, it isn’t for everyone and I know a lot of great charter schools. There are such innovative ones available today for alternatives to a traditional school.
We homeschool our kids and have for six years. It’s not that I have a prelbom with public or private school. But I do believe we must pray and do what is best for our children. The schools that were available to us were not the best for our children. I will pray for you in your first year of homeschooling.
Julia Neiman ( says
What a great post Tawnee. Your children will grow up secure in the knowledge that they are well loved. That will give them confidence and self esteem as well. Good job.
Julia Neiman ( recently posted…The 7 C’s of Success
I agree. I figured me making a conscious effort will only make it that much better. Thanks for stopping by.
Mary Hudak-Collins says
Tawnee, first let me thank you for stopping by my site earlier. Next, I love your site! A homeschooling mom…terrific! I’m homeschooling my last year (i think) and then my daughter is going to attempt attending high school. Not being the greatest at teaching, I’m hoping it works out for her.
On your post, I agree 100%! There is enough negativity in this world and all too often our children face continuous criticism. Who else but their parents are available to them each day to comfort them and praise their efforts? Thank you for sharing a wonderfully written post ☺
Mary Hudak-Collins recently posted…Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Thanks for the comments. I agree. And good luck with your last (?) year of homeschooling. Off to high school huh? Wow, must be a big year for your both this year. Good luck. Thanks for stopping by.
I couldn’t agree more! So important 🙂
Very important. I guess making it a “habit” would be the best thing I can do.
That was my favorite part of the whole book. 🙂 When my son was about 2 or 3, I read “The Greatest Gifts I Give My Children” (or something like that) by Steven Vannoy, and it reframed my thinking and the way I speak to my son.
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I’ll have to check out that book. Its funny how one part of a book can stick out, huh? I mean, it isn’t the point of the whole book, though I guess, overall, it kind of is…but it definitely made an impression. Guess that show you never know how you will impact someone. Thanks for stopping by.
In Lieu of Preschool says
Good point! Going to make a point of doing it, too! 🙂
I think that is what I’m trying to be conscious of. Someone on here mentioned they do it as a part of their evening prayers. I think that is a good way to ensure that you do it each day and don’t miss a day. I think that we talk about our day at bedtime but do I always compliment then? No. Do i remember if i have today? No. I usually have but that might be a good way to ensure that a day never slips by. Thanks for stopping by.
DaLynn McCoy says
Very convicting and so true! I’ve had people get onto me for telling my daughter (only girl with 4 brothers) that she’s pretty. It’s not the only compliment I give her, she’s 2 years old, and I don’t remember being told I was pretty – ever. I’ll tell my baby girl she’s beautiful as often as I think of it!
Thank you for sharing!! And tell us about the book when you’re finished!
DaLynn McCoy recently posted…Book Review: The Book Thief
I think that any compliment is good. I think that complimenting our children helps them become self-confident teens and adults. Teens have to fight with so many “growing” issues and I think combating them early with lots of love and compliments certainly cannot hurt. (I have 3 chapters left — i’ll keep you posted!)