How do I teach my child to compliment others?

When we think of kindness, we often think of giving gifts, making dinner for a sick friend, or being the one to make dinner reservations, so our partner doesn't have to. After all, isn't that what people do for others they want to see happy? Well, yes, but it doesn't have to stop there. Ask yourself this- When was the last time you showed kindness by giving a compliment? Here are some parenting tips to make things better.

What's in a Compliment?

If you didn't already know, there are many benefits to giving compliments. For starters, giving compliments is self-empowerment at its finest. Coming to the realization that you have the ability to uplift others by using your words is rewarding and serves as a reminder that you have everything you need within you. Try telling a friend how much you admire her ability to design and program websites. Whether or not she tells you, that kind compliment did, in some way, give her a confidence boost. And face it, we all love and could use confidence boosts from time to time.

Need another reason to share a compliment? Ok, how about this — it's free. That's right, it costs nothing to give a compliment. And since you've already spent your entire life learning to use words and to communicate your thoughts and feelings, you may as well put them to good use. Make compliments a frequent thing within your home and watch how quickly your kids begin complimenting one another. Seeing your kids compliment each other will remind you of how beneficial compliments are when showing love, even in hard times.

We, myself included, know all too well how hard it can be to say anything kind when you aren't too happy with your partner, let alone give a compliment. Still, as hard as it is, you'd be surprised at how far a compliment will take you. The next time you find yourself peeved with your significant other, ask yourself “What is it he does well that I appreciate?” Once you have it, share it with him. Tell him how good he is at doing that one thing, and then say “By the way, would you mind ____?” Believe me when I tell you that providing a compliment before you make a request is a nice, subtle way to make a request while offering a bit of encouragement.