Raising a very difficult step son brought up compliments. I was advised to compliment him as often as I corrected or disciplined him. My first reaction was that there was nothing he did to receive a compliment!!! He was, purposefully, a bad child trying to break up his father's new marriage, a book could be written on that!
So, I looked and looked. All I could see was the thing I wanted to kill him for. I kept looking. And looking. One day, maybe a day he wasn't being so aggravating, I saw him do something simple for my young son. It might have been as easy as putting away a toy, but it was a genuine, affectionate gesture and I jumped on it with a sincere, quiet thank you.
It was like magic. Not only did it ease my anger, it gave him the chance to see me outside of my position as a wicked witch, and it opened up my eyes to see any good deeds, and it certainly made him feel worthy. After that, it was much easier for me to find reasons to compliment the boy, just as it was easier for him to accept discipline, knowing that his good deeds would be equally noticed!
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