by Kathi Lipp (with Cheri Gregory)
I could go on and on about how great he is… but I just can’t tell him. Why? Because he hates it.
A few weeks ago, I said to him, “I love what a creative writer you are!”
He looked at me like I was crazy and said, “I don’t even know why you’re telling me this.”
Justen’s personality is AMIABLE. He’s thoughtful, adaptable, nurturing. But he’s also very pensive, private, and slightly mortified to hear his mom go on and on about his work. So, I’ve learned that a well-timed “nice job on that” says far more than hours of gushing.
My gushing was well-intentioned. I was proud of him, and he really is a great writer. But, my delivery? Well-intentioned or not, it didn’t work. So instead of beaming with pride at my words, he scoffed. I now know that for him, less is more, timing is everything, and gushing comes across as insincere.
Bragging by Personality
It’s one thing to brag about your kids. It’s an entirely different thing to brag about them in the way that they fully receive as affirmation. In their personal brag language, if you will.
If your kid is a fun-loving EXPRESSIVE*:
- Gush, gush, gush! It’s all about them and they could hear it all day!
- Use super (super) superlatives. They’re the best.thing.ever to an EXPRESSIVE.
- Bragging in front of other people is fabulous.
- Sincerity is optional (just kidding… mostly!)
If your kid is a detail-oriented ANALYTIC*:
- Remember the ANALYTIC’s mantra: Publicity = attention = death.
- Remember the ANALYTIC’s mantra#2: Gushing = insincere = worse than nothing.
- Try writing a heart-felt letter or an e-mail that notices the details.
If your kid is a go-getting DRIVER*:
- Keep it short and bottom line: what did they do and what was the impact?
- Focus on what they did (not on bragging about/praising them as a person)
- Publicly is okay if it’s quick and especially if important people witness it (in fact, bragging to the important people within the DRIVER’s ear shot is especially good strategy!)
If your kid is a laid-back AMIABLE*:
- Bragging on them in private is best. (In front of others they’ll worry that others will feel bad.)
- If they feel known and understood, “Great job!” or “Thank you!” says everything
- The more you go into details, the more they may feel you’re bluffing and making stuff up as you go along.
- Affirmation from someone they respect (like a pastor or a teacher) carries tremendous weight
Share this blog post via Facebook and/or leave a comment here, and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Kathi’s new book 21 Ways to Connect With Your Kids!
About 21 Ways to Connect With Your Kids
Parents spend a good chunk of time making sure their kids are okay—they’re getting good grades, doing their chores, and doing just enough cleaning that their rooms won’t be condemned if the Board of Health happens to drop by. 21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids offers a straightforward, workable plan to create new avenues of connection between parents and their kids. This handy guide coaches moms and dads to do one simple thing each day for three weeks to connect with their kids.
- Daily connection ideas include:
- planning a family fun night
- telling your child what you like about them
- developing a character growth chart
- writing a love note to your child
- working together on a family project
Written in Kathi’s warm and compassionate but thought-provoking tone, this book will motivate parents to incorporate great relationship habits into their daily lives and give them confidence that they can connect with their kids even in the midst of busy schedules.
Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker, currently speaking each year to thousands of women throughout the United States. She is the author of The Husband Project and The Marriage Project and has had articles published in several magazines, including Today’s Christian Woman and Discipleship Journal. Kathi and her husband, Roger, live in California and are the parents of four teenagers and young adults.