Parenting Series: The Power of Bragging on Your Son

Apr 10, 2013 | Parenting


(Photo credit to Kifo via Flickr Creative Commons)

By Contributing Author Josh Kissee of

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing and thats why we recommend it daily. “- Zig Ziglar

The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions, the little, soon forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look or heartfelt compliment.” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Your son needs you to compliment him in front of people. Even brag about him in front of them. 

Is it your job to “puff him up,” make him happy or “people please” him?

Absolutely not. 

When you brag on your son, he is

  • Affirmed through words as a man in training.
  • Encouraged by the compliment paid.
  • Recognized publicly for doing something of value.
  • Accepted by you.
  • Strengthened in his respect of you.

Before you pull away, lets see how you feel in the following scenario.

A Day at Work

The morning was hectic with a rush of work. Already behind on many tasks, the day seems relentless. Your lunch break is short today, only 15 minutes in length. You are sitting with a co-worker and enjoying being away from your work. A few minutes later, the boss walks in. Frustrated by the fact that she represents the workload you feel burdened with today, she is the last person you want to see.

“I know we are behind on the project and you have been busy today,” she says as you feel frustration and excusing welling up in your heart.

Unexpectedly, she places her hand appropriately on your shoulder and begins to speak.

“Without you this place would not be what it is today. I am very impressed by how much effort you have placed into getting the project completed while prioritizing the rest of your work. You have been amazing this week and I appreciate your leadership”, she says removing her hand from your shoulder with a smile.

Almost sounds too good to be true, right? In most workplaces, it is too good to be true. Managers rarely excel on recognizing their employees in a public setting. Perhaps many managers didn’t get this themselves as children?

You can change this. 

How to Brag on Your Son – Who

The art of bragging on your son in front of others is an affirmation of who he is and what he means to you. Brag on him in front of:

  • Adults who are of good moral character. – Frequent
  • Teachers or Coaches. – Often
  • Your adult friends. – Often
  • His friends. – Sometimes

How to Brag on Your Son – Where

Be mindful of the conditions. When there is an informal setting of people such as the following you have an opportunity waiting in the wings.

  1. Sitting at the dinner table with guests visiting your home.
  2. Eating a meal together with others at a restaurant.
  3. At the park with friends.
  4. Before or after a sporting event in front of his coach.

How to Brag on Your Son – How

Consider using the following phrases. The real truth is that this will just come naturally when the time permits. The important learning lesson is to be mindful that you do it.

  1. Last week, Jacob did a great job on his science studies and has shown some improvement. He is really putting effort into his work.
  2. I can’t believe the way Jordan acted when he missed that ball. Instead of getting embarrassed or angry, he acted with great character and I’m proud of him.
  3. Earlier today, Johnathan told me that he is going to work hard on making his bed consistently. I really appreciate that he takes what I have asked him seriously.
  4. Next week, Jonah will be tested for moving up a belt in Karate. He has been asking me to help him drill and prepare. Jonah is really dedicated and I am proud of him for his planning and perseverance.
  5. Jared is really great at reading. Just yesterday he read a book with me that was 30 pages long in under an hour. He really does well.

The above examples are only a few of the thousands of possible compliments that could be given to your son.  For more ideas, review the Power of Positive Words. The concept presenting in bragging on your son in front of others is applying compliments in front of others in a special way.

How do you brag on your son? Any scenarios that can help the community of parents?

Twice a week, I write for parents of Tweens to Teens at Parents Space, and each Friday I write on motherhood at Not Alone Mom.  Check out these great resources and the other contributors who write there, too.  Thank you, Josh, for sharing here each month!


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Do you feel trapped in a chaotic, relentless, demanding lifestyle? No matter where you live or what season of life you’re in, you can find inspiration from the simpler life. 


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