Praise the child and make someone’s day

Few things can lift my spirits more than a word or two of praise about my children. It doesn’t have to be much, merely a passing comment that my kids are polite can make my day.

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A few words of praise about my kids can really make my day. Could us mums and dads maybe be a bit more positive about each other’s children?

Why can a few pleasant words mean so much? My life, like many parents, is lived in fast-paced goldfish bowl dictated by the school run.

I am constantly busy looking after little ones. The few short hours the kids are at school are easily filled with housework or freelance work. It’s easy to make a mental note of something nice a child has done or said and then forget to tell the parents because my head is full of shopping lists, birthday party invites, insurance policies that need renewing, deadlines and the other detritus of modern life. Added to that, I’m Also very focused on my own offspring so want to praise them or set them straight when they’ve done something wrong.

Knowing how busy and pre-occupied most of us parents are, it means a huge amount when someone takes the time to say something nice about my kids. It really doesn’t have to be much. Just to hear they have been polite or played nicely with a child they don’t know very well.

Praise of this kind must also be great for mums and dads as it’s a sign we’re getting something right. I’m sure many of us share the concern, so eloquently made by Philip Larkin in that poem, that we may be accidentally messing up our kids. Having someone tell you that your kid has been nice or kind or angelic provides just a little reassurance that you can’t be doing that badly.

Yes, I’ll admit it, this post was inspired by a comment someone’s made to me the other day about Izzy, my youngest daughter. It just made me stop and reflect on the other times people had been nice about my kids and how much it meant.

That isn’t, by the way, me trying to claim that I lead some perfect, airbrushed life. My kids fall out with each other, loose their temper and forget their manners as much as anybody else’s. If they do get praised by other people, it’s simple a pleasant, positive sign and one even they pick up on and react positively to.

I have made a decision to praise other people’s kids more. It’s something I feel I should make a greater effort to do. If it can make such a difference to me, maybe a few pleasant words will lift another mum or dad’s spirits. My goodness, don’t we all need to hear a few nice words from time to time?

Can a few choice words about your kids brighten your day? What’s the nicest thing anybody has said about your offspring? Leave a comment below and hopefully we can all brighten up each other’s day.

Lucy At Home UK gentle parenting blogger

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13 Comments

  1. October 31, 2018 / 11:11 am

    Great post. I feel like I’m pretty good at praising other people’s kids, but am always surprised at how little I hear other people do it. I wonder if the competitive element of parenting means that we are all a little too focused on how the girl or boy compares to our own kid to give them the merit/praise they deserve?

    • John Adams
      Author
      November 2, 2018 / 6:20 am

      Now this is a fascinating comment. I simply don’t do competitive parenting, but I think you have a point. For many mums and dads that will be an issue and I suspect that could be a contributory factor as to why we don’t compliment other people’s kids as much as we should. It really doesn’t take any effort does it?

  2. November 1, 2018 / 7:19 am

    We seem to be leading parallel lives with the school runs and freelance work packed in! Totally agree a passing comment about the boys makes my day 💙💯

    • John Adams
      Author
      November 2, 2018 / 6:15 am

      Solidarity brother! We should start a group for freelance dads! I thought this blog post would resonate with other people. A very simple comment can go a long way to making someone’s day. I simply recognise I don’t do enough of it.

  3. November 2, 2018 / 7:25 am

    I’m so pleased you’ve said this. I have bitten my tongue a few times rather than praise someones child. Sounds odd, right?! But, with such a sensitive climate, I have become worried it would be considered ‘judging’. Things were a lot simpler when mine were little and we all cooed and arghed at each others children with out too much fear of saying something ‘wrong’. When did saying something nice get so complicated..? Or is that just my experience? xx

  4. November 2, 2018 / 12:27 pm

    oh yes, such a lovely idea. There is far too little love and kindness in this world and it only takes a few words to make a difference.
    #blogcrush

    • John Adams
      Author
      November 5, 2018 / 10:43 am

      Thanks Anne. You’re right, we could do with more love and kindness in the world. A few words are very easy to say and can mean such a lot to the person they’re aimed at.

  5. November 2, 2018 / 2:25 pm

    I think people are very quick to judge and very slow to praise sometimes. Is it because they don’t want to say anything, or are afraid of looking strange. But I do know if someone says words of praise to my little girl then I would be rightly proud of her. As another person commented, it makes you feel that you are doing a good job, and that people are noticing. Great post #BlogCrush

    • John Adams
      Author
      November 5, 2018 / 10:42 am

      Yup, I completely get the feeling awkward thing. You don’t want to look strange but in reality I think it very unlikely a comment is going to be interpreted that way. or I hope not anyway.

  6. November 7, 2018 / 5:38 pm

    Yes you’re so right – it really does make your day when someone says something nice about your kids. As parents, we invest so much time in our kids and trying our best to raise nice happy kids, so when someone else notices (and takes the time to say so), it feels really good #blogcrush

    • John Adams
      Author
      November 10, 2018 / 8:00 am

      You got it, we spend so much time focusing on our own offspring it’s easy to forget otherpeople’s. We should take the time to praise other people’s kids.

  7. November 8, 2018 / 11:52 am

    A little praise can go a long way, totally agree. Reflecting on it I think I’ve only really said nice things to the parents about kids I already know. Something no doubt to improve now i think about it!

    I have notice though that since moving to Stockholm, other adults (not just parents) do seem to comment on my toddler a LOT, always nicely. Way more than I remember in London. Even when he does something not great (such as tantrums or toy swiping) someone normally says something nice like ‘oh, it’s very difficult being a toddler’, or ‘yes, I’m feeling tired too’. I’m not sure how to deal with these comments let so I just smile… #BlogCrush

    • John Adams
      Author
      November 10, 2018 / 7:57 am

      Oh wow, so you’re already in Stockholm? I hadn’t appreciated the move was that imminent. Fascinating you get more comments in Sweden. I always had the Swedes down as quite reserved.