I was watching “Access Hollywood” the other day (don’t judge) and a reporter was talking to an actress on a red carpet. The reporter praised the actress up and down—her hair was gorgeous, her nails were flawless (unlike mine), and where on earth did she get those shoes?
Except that wasn’t praise.
That was flattery, and there’s a difference.
I’ve known flattery. Maybe you have too. Flattery is insincere. Flattery is fake. Flattery makes my skin crawl.
But praise. True praise for something I’ve done or, better yet, some quality I might possess will stick with me for hours. Real praise will make me fly. (My love language is words of affirmation, after all.) Tell me what you like, what you reallyreally like about me, and I’ll be your BFF.
Don’t we all like to be praised for who we are or for something we’ve done? Guess what—your kids like it too. In fact, your kids will really soar if you get into the habit of praising them. They might even want to be your BFF.
What if I praise her too much and she gets a big head? you might be thinking. Don’t worry about that. My guess is that most parents err on the side of too little praise (I know I do) and that our kids could hat sizes could stand a little filling out.
Here’s the thing, though. Our kids know when we’re being insincere. Our kids know when we’re not listening, right? They also know when we say something we don’t mean.
So find something praiseworthy in your child today. It’s there. Even if your child is having one of “those” days--look hard. Find something to praise and sing it out. Shout it from the rooftops if you have to. Tell your child what you reallyreally like about him.
And watch him soar.