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100+ Positive Adjectives to Describe a Child – With Free Printable Poster!

Today I’m sharing a list of 100+ positive adjectives to describe a child (or any person). You won’t find phrases like “well behaved” or adjectives like cute, handsome, or intelligent. Make sure to look below the list for a free printable poster of the positive adjectives for your home or classroom!

Have you ever noticed that the qualities we claim to value in adults are the same things we try to discourage in children?

We praise children for being quiet, coloring inside the lines, and standing still. Then we say we value innovation, determination, and authenticity.

We also tend to praise children’s appearance constantly but don’t really mention their personalities and actions in positive ways. This list of positive adjectives to call a child will help you change that!

100+ Positive Adjectives to Describe a Child - plus a free printable poster of positive adjectives!

This post may include affiliate links, which means I may make a commission on purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. 

Why we shouldn’t always praise a child’s appearance or intelligence

Hearing the words people use to describe my child has made me very aware of the adjectives I use to describe her. Their descriptions have made me really stop and think about the messages our word choices unintentionally send our children.

Frequently we use kind of milk-toast adjectives like “great,” focus on physical characteristics (“cute” or “pretty”), or praise a child for being so “smart.” 

There are a couple problems with always praising a child’s appearance or constantly calling them “good” or “smart.”

For one, girls are already bombarded with messages from society that their appearance matters, maybe more than anything else about them.

mom and daughter wearing superhero capes

Although no one means harm when they tell their daughter how cute she is or that she has a nice outfit, it helps reinforce the idea that how they look is more important then who they are. This can cause a lot of problems and confidence issues down the line!

Virtually everyone who talks to us when we’re out tells us how pretty, beautiful, or cute our LG is. They tell us how my husband is going to jealously guard her from would-be boyfriends. Muñeca (doll) and princesa are favorite adjectives from our Miami family.  

A few people do comment on how observant she is, but typically only after they’ve called her cute half a dozen times.

I know it’s super hard not to call your little one cute all the time. I’ve tried since day 1 to say other things to LG, but “cute” still slips out frequently because she is cute! But I consciously try to mention her other attributes, like her strength and determination, whenever possible.

Constantly praising a child’s intelligence can also backfire. Although it’s obviously fine to mention their smarts in moderation, a child may become afraid of doing anything that might make them look “stupid” if they’ve tied their identity to being “smart.”

This kind of thinking can lead “talented” students to take less challenging classes and tasks because they’ve tied their identity to being a “good student” and are afraid of making less than straight A’s (If you’re a new reader – I have a Masters in Teaching and this is a topic we studied in developmental psychology and educational theory classes. It’s fascinating stuff!)

It’s also really important to read the research on how praise can backfire in the long run. Read Conditional Parenting – it’s a game changer.

Sale
Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and...
  • Raising Kids
  • Kohn, Alfie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

By using more diverse adjectives to describe your child and mentioning their personality traits more than their appearance, you can help your child develop a more healthy and wholistic self-image and greater confidence!

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100+ positive adjectives to call a child plus a free printable poster of positive adjectives!

How to use this list of positive adjectives

These adjectives are great for introducing new words to your child. Some of them are more advanced than others, which makes them the perfect way to introduce new words.

They’re also useful for expanding your own repertoire of complements and descriptions.  

smiling girl hugging mom by school bus

Additionally, you can use these adjectives if your child has a school assignment to come up with a list of words to describe themselves. 

Challenge your children to describe themselves and others in new, different ways each day of the week! See if you can all go an entire week without simply describing someone as nice, pretty, or great. 

Make sure to grab the free printable poster (at the bottom of the post) with all 100+ positive adjectives so you can post it in your home or classroom for reference! 

Looking for something more than cute to describe your child? These 100+ positive adjectives to describe a child can help! There's a free printable poster, too!

100+ positive adjectives to describe a child

 

Adaptable

Adventurous

Affectionate

Alert

Ambitious

Amiable

Astute

Attentive

Authentic

Aware

Awesome

Bold

Brave

Calm

Capable

Caring

Compassionate

Confident

Considerate

Consistant

Courageous

Courteous

Curious

Decisive

Dependable

Determined

Dexterous

Diligent

Diplomatic

Dynamic

Earnest

Encouraging

Energetic

Engaging

Enthusiastic

Fair

Fearless

Flexible

Focused

Forgiving

Forthright

Free-spirited

Friendly

Fun

Fun-loving

Generous

Gentle

Genuine

Giving

Graceful

Gracious

Happy

Hardworking

Honest

Hopeful

Humble

Humorous

Idealistic

Imaginative

Innovative

Insightful

Intuitive

Inventive

Joyful

Just

Kind

Lively

Loving

Loyal

Merry

Motivated

Motivational

Nurturing

Observant

Open

Open-hearted

Open-minded

Optimistic

Organized

Outgoing

Patient

Persistent

Playful

Positive

Precise

Punctual

Purposeful

Quick-witted

Radiant

Realistic

Reflective

Reliable

Resourceful

Sincere

Sociable

Social

Strong

Sympathetic

Trusting

Trustworthy

Upbeat

Vivacious

Warm

Welcoming

Wise

Zany

Free printable poster of positive adjectives

Here’s a preview of the printable poster of positive adjectives! (It’s just a low-res preview, not the printable PDF)

Free printable poster of positive adjectives to call a child

If you’d like to reference this list of positive adjectives to describe a child, make sure to grab the free printable!

Download your printable poster of 100 positive adjectives here

Non Appearance-Based Positive Adjectives to Describe a Child and a free printable poster

This poster of positive adjectives matches a set of the growth mindset poster printables I shared recently. Make sure to download them, too, while you’re in the resource library!

growth mindset poster free printables with rainbow background

More positive parenting resources

You can’t pour from an empty cup. These free self-care ideas for moms can help you be the positive parent you want to be! There are also some free printable affirmation cards to help you out.

Free printable affirmation cards for self-care. Beautiful watercolor affirmation cards for free!

Do you want to encourage your toddler’s desire to practice gross motor skills? These indoor gross motor toys for toddlers are the best!

Gross motor toys for young toddlers who can't stop moving

Do you have any additional positive adjectives you’d like to see added to the list?

Natasha of The Artisan Life logo

Natasha holds a Masters of the Arts in teaching and is a registered yoga teacher & certified life coach. She’s also a mom raising a bilingual Cuban-American with a Montessori-inspired positive parenting philosophy. 

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