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The Power of Compliments

The Power of Compliments

No doubt you would have heard of ‘bucket fillers’? You know, when you compliment somebody. Their ‘bucket of self-esteem’ increases - and so does yours. 

If you Google ‘fill your bucket’ you’ll find numerous books and stories about the power of compliments. This simple concept of a bucket is a wonderful way to describe the enormous impact that sincere and well-timed compliments can make to the self-esteem of others, especially children.

Ever noticed how small hinges can swing really big doors? It’s a reminder that it’s the smallest things we say to our children often have the biggest impact. Sometimes we don’t even realise. One way you can maximise your impact on your child’s wellbeing and self-esteem is to make your compliments count.

Michael Grose, author, describes a story that illustrates the power of compliments: 

I overheard a friend tell her eight-year old daughter last week: “You did such a good job helping your brother yesterday. You are such lovely big sister!”. My friend’s face was lit up with a big warm smile. At the same time, she gently put her hand on her daughter’s shoulder as she spoke. The little girl beamed, and then happily went off to play. It was a simple parenting moment among many that my friend would have initiated that day.

Grose continues to explain that there were two things that amplified the impact of the compliment. Firstly, she smiled as she gave it. Secondly, she touched her daughter as well. Touch will always amplify a compliment. It makes it personal.

It doesn’t take much to nurture a child’s self-esteem and create good feelings. Compliments, when given sincerely, have an enormous impact on those who receive them. Don’t underestimate the positive difference compliments can make. They are easy to give, but just as easy not to give.

Next time your child does something worthwhile, take the time to give a sincere compliment. Add a warm smile, a gentle touch and watch your child’s reaction.

Wouldn’t it be nice if giving compliments to one another was more commonplace? Imagine how full our buckets would be.

Written by Andrew Thompson, Head of Junior School, Nowra Anglican College

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