Tag Archives: DIY

Deepen your compliments

Depending on how you want to look at it, I was either feeling extremely motivated for crafts or extremely unmotivated for school today. I blame the Maple Leaf Festival

Whatever is the case, one trip to Hobby Lobby later, I was ready for some serious crafting.

First up was a cute, easy idea for a natural-themed vase that I saw on Kristin’s blog.

The only required materials were:

  • Hard, natural grass (bought from Hobby Lobby)
  • One straight, glass vase
  • Glue gun
  • Scissors

First, I measured one piece of the grass against the vase and cut the grass so that it was just a little taller than the vase. Then, I used that grass segment to measure and cut a bunch of other pieces.

By this time, Tracker was starting to get upset that I wasn’t paying attention to her.

Like the mature dog that she is, she expressed this by sitting on my materials.

I pet her for a few minutes. Satisfied, she moved to the couch and let me continue.

After cutting the grass, use the heated glue gun to apply a ~1/2 in. line of glue on the top, middle and bottom of the vase. Working strand-by-strand (or a few at a time), press the grass onto the bottom, middle and top — make sure it’s all aligned and there aren’t major gaps.

Cut more grass as necessary and repeat process for the rest of the vase.

I ended up wrapping a cute ribbon around it. Now, I just need to get some flowers to fill it with. (<<hint, hint, Dan!)

My next craft was much more ill-conceived and therefore not worth as much explanation. Basically, I took these materials…

And made this necklace…

I think it’s cute, but it definitely wouldn’t stand a storm.

Then, rather than get started on my actual homework, I started investigating another topic…

The depth of compliments

Generally speaking, it is so easy to dismiss compliments in adult life. This may be because we are used to hearing positive comments all throughout our lives. Or it may be because we just don’t believe the compliments are true. Either way, the effects they have on us is relatively fleeting.

That’s not the case with children. To them, every single comment is true and all compliments are meaningful. That’s why I believe it is particularly important to emphasize the right things when complimenting children — and not just because of the effects is has on them as children, but also because of the way it molds us throughout life.

I know this subject may seem out of the blue, but I got thinking about it recently because of a Twitter comment that Caitlin made about a couple on Teen Mom: “Gary, Amber and their families need to come up with compliments for Leah other than ‘pretty’ or ‘beautiful.'”

It’s something I had never really thought about before, but I couldn’t help but be struck by how good of a point Caitlin was making. Although the general judgment of many people on Teen Mom is questionable, it’s a very valid point. All too often, we compliment other children on superficial things…

The problem is that by focusing on beauty, children will grow to think their value is directly attached to physical measures.

On an advice website for parents, Nanny Deb, who is on the TV show Nanny 911, suggested: “Each day, make sure your kids hear the following phrases from you: I love you. Please. Thank you. Thank you for being my child. I’m proud of you. I believe in you. I trust you.”

Notice that no where in there is a compliment about how beautiful the child is. Now, I don’t think there is anything wrong with children believing they are beautiful. In fact, I hope all children believe that. What I do find fault with is when children believe that their worth is only related to that beauty. Instead, I hope that children are fostered to be confident in their intelligence, kindness and personalities.

Of course, all this sounds fairly silly for a 20-year-old to be ranting about. But I think it’s important to think about now — no use in waiting until I am a mother to start giving more meaningful compliments. Don’t be surprised if you overhear me telling my dog that she is “so smart.”

Questions: What is the best compliment you ever received? Any good crafts or DIY projects?