20 Ways to Compliment A Child That Have Nothing To Do With Appearance

20 Ways to Compliment A Child That Have Nothing To Do With Appearance

By Amanda Scott

Do you ever find yourself gazing at a child with such adoration and all you can think to say is, “You’re so cute!”? It is important to let the children in your life know that you see them and value them for more than appearance; after all, appearance is not an accomplishment. The point is “to recognize that self-esteem really, truly comes as the result of achievement—in the classroom, on the field, at the home…” (Drexler, 2012). It can be difficult, but not impossible, to notice more merited ways to compliment a child and help boost self-confidence. Here are 20 ways to compliment a child—that have nothing to do with appearance!

  1. Tell her how creative she is when she makes up a story.
  2. Tell him how kind he is when he shows how he cares for others.
  3. Tell her how responsible she is when she takes care of herself, others, or toys.
  4. Tell him how artistic he is when he shows you a drawing.
  5. Tell her how happy it makes you to spend time with her.
  6. Tell him he is a good friend/son/brother.
  7. Tell her she is adventurous when she describes her day.
  8. Tell him he is brave when he does something he is afraid to try.
  9. Tell her how hard-working she is when she accomplishes a goal.
  10. Tell him he gives the best hugs when you greet him.
  11. Tell her she is smart when she figures something out.
  12. Tell him he is clever when he solves a riddle.
  13. Tell her she’s got a wonderful laugh.
  14. Tell him he is a treasure when you talk of priceless things.
  15. Tell her she is courageous when she stands up for others.
  16. Tell him how talented he is when he sings you a song.
  17. Tell her she is a great leader when she takes initiative.
  18. Tell him he is trustworthy when he keeps a promise.
  19. Tell her she is polite when she uses her manners.
  20. Tell him he is a hero when he stands up to a bully.

Telling a child she is pretty or that he is strong is easy. Seeing your child’s actual successes is a benchmark of attentive parenting. Being a more creative parent takes practice and perseverance. Be vigilant with your effort to buoy up your child’s confidence and your resourcefulness will benefit your child in the long run.

See our book 30 Days to a Stronger Child to find lessons related to this topic and learn ways and activities to help your child be stronger!


Drexler, P. (2012, August 17). The Key to Raising Confident Kids? Stop Complimenting Them! Retrieved August 18, 2014, from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-gender-ourselves/201208/the-key-raising-confident-kids-stop-complimenting-them

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