Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Practice receiving compliments.

What you can do

Show your child how to graciously accept a compliment. Point out how you’re responding to the nice words with a smile and a warm “Thank you.” Help your child get into the habit of doing the same.

Practice this skill by making a plan to give each other several compliments throughout the day. Give your child feedback and praise him when he responds appropriately to a compliment.

What you can say

“Jacob, giving a compliment is kind of like throwing a football. If you make the effort to throw it, you really want the other person to catch it. That’s why it’s important for you to respond when someone gives you a compliment.”

“First, listen to what the person is saying. Don’t interrupt. Next, be sure to smile and show your appreciation by saying ‘thank you.’”

“Finally, if it’s appropriate, look for a way to continue the conversation. Maybe there’s a compliment you want to give that person. Only do this if what you’re saying is sincere.”

“Another good way to respond is to come up with a question that’s related to the compliment the person just gave you. Here’s an example. If Toby says he likes your skateboard, you could say something like, “Thanks, I was pretty stoked to use it at the new skate park last weekend. Have you been there yet?”

Why this will help

Receiving a compliment can be challenging for tweens and teens with learning and attention issues. This is especially true for kids who have low self-esteem. A compliment can make them feel awkward. If they don’t know how to respond, they may ignore it or try to change the subject.

Talking about compliments can help your child see how these statements can make both the giver and receiver feel good about themselves. Showing your child how to accept a compliment will help him understand the process. Practicing together at home will make him feel more confident about using this skill on his own.

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