When we think of the word “compliment,” it’s usually associated with a physical attribute like “you look so beautiful in that dress!”, “you look fit, have you been working out?”, or *cringe* “you look great! Have you lost weight?” 

Of course it’s nice to hear physical compliments, but there’s so much more to us than our appearance, and it’s something we can easily teach our children at an early age by simply praising other things about them

Big Life Journal shared a post on Instagram highlighting 25 non-physical compliments you can give your kids. “Imagine your child’s joy hearing these words: ‘Your kindness lights up any room!’, ‘I love how you always find the good in people!’, ‘Your honesty and sincerity make you trustworthy!’” reads the caption, and honestly these are words of affirmation that are wonderful to give anyone, no matter their age. 

25 non-physical compliments to give your child

Here’s the full list from Big Life Journal:

  1. Your smile lights up a room.
  2. I love your sense of humor!
  3. I love how you give it your all.
  4. Thank you for being you.
  5. The care you express towards our family is beautiful.
  6. Finding joy in the little things is your superpower.
  7. You’ve got a heart of gold.
  8. You’re considerate and make a great friend.
  9. The way you see the world is so unique.
  10. I love listening to your stories.
  11. I love how considerate you are of others’ feelings.
  12. I love watching your imaginary play.
  13. You’re growing your patience muscle!
  14. You listen so attentively.
  15. Your positive energy is contagious.
  16. I love how respectful you are.
  17. You are so determined.
  18. Your kindness towards others is beautiful to witness.
  19. Bringing people together seems to come naturally to you.
  20. Your love for learning is impressive.
  21. The way you care about others is so beautiful
  22. Your ability to stand up for others is a sign of inner strength.
  23. I love how you find the good in people.
  24. You give great advice.
  25. I love your adventurous side!

While praise is something we all crave, Dr. Becky recently shared an alternative way to react to something your child made or did: marveling at the “how” rather than the “what.”

“When she does something in life… I don’t want her next step in her wiring to be, ‘Who’s going to tell me it’s good?’ I want her to look in, and say, ‘What do I think?’” the renowned psychologist and Good Inside author explained in a reel, referring to her daughter. “If I want that later on, I have to start that wiring now.” 

She does point out that it’s OK to simply say “that’s amazing!” or “good job!” every once and a while, but teaching our children to look inside themselves instead of depending on external validation is a powerful tool they can carry with them into adulthood.