Family First

The Compliment Element

Making Home a Happy Place Through Good Words


The Compliment Element


When we think of a safe haven, home usually comes to mind immediately. The sense of comfort and security is rooted not just in a piece of architecture, but also in the people who inhabit it – our family. Our parents who raised us, our siblings who have been on our side growing up, even relatives whose support has helped us to not stray from the path.

The world outside the confines of the home may be vast, but it is filled with uncertainties and other elements that are beyond our control. Home is a place where we can recharge after a long day of dealing with different personalities and situations that won’t always be ideal. This is why it is even more important to preserve it, and perhaps make it even more effective in increasing the good feelings that we can get out of our stay.

Have you been speaking kindness lately? According to Michael Grose, a leading educator in Australia and parenting expert, one way to increase good feelings in the family is by raising the number of compliments given to kids at home. Here’s how you can do it:

1. Count the compliments you make.

Change begins with ourselves. Model this good behavior by consciously keeping track of the number of affirmations and compliments you make yourself. Strike a balance so you don’t overdo it.

2. Watch out for “good feeling killers”.

Also called “self-esteem killers”, these are comments that can make the recipient feel small. While it is important to call out bad behavior, be careful about blurting out what’s on your mind. Take some time to pick words that aim to correct the negative action instead of shaming the person who did it.

3. Have a discussion with a kid who uses negative language.

Children have a tendency to think that it’s okay to continue doing something if they don’t hear feedback from their parents. Prevent a cycle of negativity from happening by sitting down with your kid and letting them know how to better verbalize their sentiments in a way that would help rather than hurt.

4. Follow a negative with a positive.

A compliment or affirmation can be a great equalizer, especially if you have to set the record straight with your child. Let them know what they did wrong, but afterwards, tell them the benefits of following rules and being sensitive of others.

5. Clear your head.

Do not engage in a conversation if you are overwhelmed with bad feelings. Step out to get some air or do a relaxing activity to let all the negative emotions out. This way, it won’t affect your interactions with family. Of course, if you need their help to resolve issues, seek their assistance and try to calmly walk them through the challenge that you’re facing.