Parenting,  Special Topics,  Thinking

High Quality Compliments!

by Esther Jantzen, guest poster

Children thrive when grown-ups point out their good qualities and the things they are doing well. Compliments are some of the best gifts you can give your child.

This activity teaches kids words they might not know. Here are several ways to do it: below are 45 words for positive traits. See if you can add 15 more to the list:

balloon-boyActive, determined, kind, adventurous, energetic, lively, artistic, enthusiastic, loving, aware, expressive, observant, beautiful, forgiving, open, bold, friendly, patient, brave, generous, powerful, bright, gentle, ready-to-learn, capable, handsome, respectful, caring, happy, responsible, changing, hard-working, sensitive, confident, honest strong, cooperative, imaginative, thoughtful, creative, inventive, unique, dependable, joyful, wise

1) Write each family member’s name on a separate piece of paper. Either alone or with others, write as many positive words as you can think of to describe each person. Give the paper to them.

2) When you find a family member doing a positive behavior, tell them! Tell them the specific instance when you saw that behavior. For example, say, “You sure were being gentle when you held that kitten.” Or, “I liked how energetically and quickly you picked up the papers from the floor.”


Compliments supports the English-Language Arts Content Standards related to vocabulary and concept development.

Esther Jantzen, Ed.D, is a mother, an educator and the author of Plus It! How to Easily Turn Everyday Activities into Learning Adventures for Kids available at and the Way to Go! Family Learning Journal available through

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